I just received the Spring 2011 issue of Vermont Life magazine (notice the new look?). Heading straight to the food section "Cooking in Season: Spring begins with maple", I was snagged by Lara Atkins' (pastry chef and co-owner of The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond) recipe for Maple Syrup Pie.
Let's do this.
Gather up a few basic food items. Nothing unusual, just some ordinary ingredients you'll find in your kitchen or down the street at the market: flour, eggs, butter, cream, and maple syrup (grade B). Do yourself a favor and choose fresh, quality products. I have no intention of guilt while indulging in this treat.
First on the list is a ready made, pre-baked pie crust. This is one item I didn't have. Desiring a more localvore and wholesome dessert, I made my own. Visit Simply Recipes if you need help (this makes two, throw one in the freezer), scroll down for further instructions on pre-baking. Only change I made with the crust was to use whole wheat pasty flour in place of all purpose, your choice.
Maple Syrup Pie
1 9" pie crust, prebaked and, ideally, warm
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups maple syrup, preferably grade B
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring maple syrup and cream to a boil and allow to boil for about 20 seconds. Turn off heat but leave pan on burner. Stir butter in to melt completely. Whisk a little bit of maple-cream mixture into the flour mixture to make a slurry and then whisk in the rest. Whisk a little of the maple-cream flour mixture into the beaten eggs and then whisk the tempered eggs back into the maple-cream mixture until completely incorporated. Wow, that's a lot of whisking. Pour hot filling into warm prebaked pie shell. Bake about 50 to 60 minutes until dark golden brown and set in the center such that a sharp knife comes out clean from the center of the pie. Pie will settle as it cools, be patient and give it a chance to cool completely. Serve at room temperature with ice cream and or whipped cream.
Not the prettiest of pies, but we're not done yet.
A sweet, buttery maple carmel rush. Landed me hook, line and sinker.