Crunchy pecans drenched in maple syrup add an inviting twist to this classic autumn and wintertime dessert.
Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, we’re a long way from the closest pumpkin patch, and at $65.00 and up, the pumpkins brought into the Native Store for Halloween didn’t tempt us. But Jack kept his eye on them, and as predicted, the day after Halloween the price fell by half. We held out a few days beyond that and the prices dropped another 50%. One of the wonderful things about squashes and pumpkins is that they keep well, and so we purchased a 17-pound beauty no worse for the extra week or two it had spent on the store shelves for only $18.00. Jack then set to work cutting up and roasting the pumpkin, seeds and all. The seeds were tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt, and a blend of Italian seasonings. Crisp, crunchy and zesty, they were devoured immediately. The pumpkin was roasted plain and then puréed with several uses in mind.
I used the first two cups of pumpkin purée to create a pie inspired by the superb Pennsylvania maple syrup that a friend had sent to us. Along with a healthy dollop of bourbon, maple syrup is the perfect compliment to the flavors in pumpkin pie filling. The pecans in this recipe come out sweet, light and crunchy.
Maple Pecan Pumpkin Pie
- pastry crust for one 9-inch pie
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups pumpkin purée
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp mace
- 2 tbsp bourbon (optional)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry crust.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until frothy.
- Add pumpkin, whipping cream, maple syrup, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and mace. Beat well to mix. Pour mixture in the pastry-lined pie pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make pecan topping. Combine butter, sugar, syrup, and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
- Add pecan halves to topping mixture. Stir well.
- After pie has baked for 40 minutes, arrange pecan topping on top of pie.
- Cover edges of pie with foil to prevent burning and return pie to oven. Continue baking for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of pie comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours.
Adapted from The Baking Pan