Maple Cream Pie: celebrate the season

Mouthwatering, mind altering, maddeningly amazing maple syrup. That tree-grown sweetener that New England is proud to produce. For most of the country, maple is more of a fall flavor, right along with apple and pumpkin. For us East Coasters however, we wait impatiently for the flavor that’s a surefire sign spring is finally here.

The topic of conversation around the water cooler shifts from “What did the thermometer at YOUR house say this morning?” to “Guys, I saw some lines out on my drive into work today. First of the year!” Sap lines. Tapped maple trees, with miles of white and blue hose line winding through the forest, transporting gallons and gallons of sap to the sugar shacks. There, it’s carefully and painstakingly boiled down into the syrup that we love so much. Maple syrup. Maple sap will typically only flow if the days are warm, and the nights are below freezing. Those perfect conditions only occur in the springtime. Though sometimes, not even then.

For instance, if the snow melts too quickly and the temperatures don’t get cold enough, the sap won’t flow. If it warms up too quickly, the sap will dry up, as the tree uses that sugar to produce leaves. This premium product is at the mercy of Mother Nature, and sometimes she’s awfully fickle.

We put it in everything: on top of our oatmeal, stirred into coffee, and of course drowning our pancakes. So why not into our pie? Combining sweet maple with creamy half & half creates a decadent pie that’s sure to satisfy every maple craving you can possibly have. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve had a lot! Ingredients to make the pie crust. For the crust, mix together 6 tablespoons softened butter and 3 ounces softened cream cheese until well blended. Making the pie crust. Add:

1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix until just blended. Pat into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it’s 12″ in diameter. Place into a 9” pie pan. Shape and crimp the crust, trimming the edges as needed. Line with aluminum foil and pie weights or uncooked beans.

Bake in the oven until the bottom of the crust is light brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and carefully lift the foil and weights from the crust and allow to cool.

Filling ingredientsFor the filling, mix together:

3 cups half & half
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt Maple Cream FillingCombine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on what your stovetop’s idea of medium-high heat is.

Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of maple flavor (optional). If you have it, I highly recommend adding the maple flavor. It really bumps up the taste!

Pour the filling into a mesh strainer to remove all of the pieces of cooked egg and other bits that are going to make your filling less creamy and delicious.

Bits of cooked egg at the bottom of the strainer, which is why this step is so important!

Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Making whipped cream to top pieFor the whipped cream, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Whip until stiff peaks form: the mixer should leave tracks in the cream that remain in a peak when the whisk is lifted.

Mix together 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon Instant ClearJel, and whisk into the whipped cream. You don’t have to use ClearJel; but it helps the whipped cream to hold its shape longer. Pipe or dollop whipped cream onto the pie.

Can the recipe be made gluten-free? Sure thing! Our Gluten-Free Pie Crust would be the perfect base for this creamy pie.

Maple Cream PiePlease bake, rate, and review our recipe for Maple Cream Pie.

Print just the recipe. Don’t forget, you can adjust the font size at the top left of the print page.

Spring has always been my favorite season. Yes, even when the snow melts away to reveal the feet of fragrant and car plastering mud beneath. It’s the season of rebirth, green grass, and mouthwatering maple syrup. Time to celebrate with a nice, cool, creamy slice of pie.

Gwen Adams
About

Gwen Adams grew up in northern New Hampshire, on top of a mountain, surrounded by nature and not much else. After graduating from Lyndon State College in 2010, Gwen sought a career that combined her passion for writing with her love of baking. She found ...

comments

  1. Jenny Wiegand

    This looks absolutely delicious, and I can’t wait to try it. I have a quick question, though: How deep can the pie plate be? I have 2 nine-inch pie plates, one regular, and one deep dish. Will this recipe fill a deep dish plate, or should I stick with the regular size? Or…can I increase the filling recipe by 50% to fill the deep dish?

    Thanks again for posting this scrumptious-looking recipe!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Most pie recipes are written to fit a 9″ or 10″ wide, 1 1/2″-deep pie pan. While a 1 1/4″-deep pan is barely acceptable, a 1″-deep pan won’t be large enough to hold a typical pie filling recipe, which is about 4 to 10 cups in volume. For best results, make this maple cream pie in the standard pie tin or pan, not the deep dish. The time to experiment with amounts and deep dish is AFTER the busy baking holidays! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  2. PKaiser

    I was just wondering what “ClearJel” is, and where it can be purchased? Also, could unflavored gelatin be substituted for “ClearJel”?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Instant clearjel is a thickening agent (like corn starch, flour, etc) that is being used to stabilize the whipped cream for this pie. We offer the product online, it is pretty popular! You can leave it out if you plan to serve the pie in one day. You could also make a stabilized whipped cream with the gelatin, but it is a little trickier than using the instant clearjel. Jon@KAF

  3. Kathy

    Made this pie for Easter Sunday. High praise all around from those in attendance. Will be making again (likely on request.) I also love the idea of halving the recipe and making just the custard for a more casual dessert.

    Reply
  4. Rose H

    I made the pie as it is stated. Wow!!! I had very good comments. One grandson-in law said he’d come again if I made him that pie. Thanks for a good recipe! My husband makes maple syrup here in Iowa for home use & gifts.Thanks again..

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      It’s certainly worth trying, Donna. It should thicken up fine. You could also consider fat free condensed milk while you’re at it. Susan

  5. Cindy

    Thank you for this beautiful looking recipe. We have collected maple syrup for over 20 years and do not use a lot with recipes but this one I am going to have to try for this week end gathering.
    Nice article and how so true that Mother Nature makes all the calls.

    Reply
  6. Karen

    I love maple syrup and this recipe sounded perfect. My only thought, besides the half/half vs. milk, was that is pictured very pale with a traditional pie crust. I think this would be great with a graham cracker crust or even a ginger snap crust. Can’t wait to try this and report back! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      Hi Judy,
      Lactose free should be fine. I have tried this recipe using regular whole milk. I find that it doesn’t firm up quite as much as the version with all half & half does. You might try whisking in 2 tablespoons of Signature Secrets to your filling before pouring it in the pie shell. That should add that bit of thick and creaminess that whole Lactaid milk is lacking. Happy baking! -Gwen

  7. Kelly King

    Saw this, wanted instant gratification and didn’t want the calories of pie (yeah… like the filling has no calories) so I just made the filling as a pudding…. but with a few changes. 1 1/2 c milk, 3/4c syrup, a chunk of maple sugar… probably 2 T worth, 1/4 c of corn starch, 2 egg yolks, 1/8 t salt, 1/2 t vanilla.

    I didn’t need to strain it… it was fine.

    Reply
  8. kflintvt

    Made the maple cream pie today, so good! We just got back from Quebec City where maple sugar pie is very popular. I much prefer this recipe, not so agonizingly sweet. Thanks for another great recipe KAF!

    Reply

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