Maple-y WALNUT


We both grew up eating pancake syrup at breakfast time. We love the taste of pure maple syrup, but we still retain some affection for that in-your-face, over-the-top taste of “maple-flavored pancake syrup.” Interestingly, the corn syrup in pancake syrup has an important chemical property; it is an invert sugar, meaning that it inherently resists crystallization. Original versions of this recipe used pure maple syrup but were not producing the gooey pie filling we were after. We realized that in order to produce the maple-walnut pie of our dreams, we had to use the maple-y syrup of our childhood—so purists, take note, and don’t try to substitute real maple in this pie!



Pie dough for a Deep-Dish Single Crust (this page) 

9-inch standard pie plate 

Silicone maple leaf veiner (optional; see Sources, this page) 

Fondant leaf veining tool (optional) 

4¾-inch maple leaf cookie cutter 

Instant-read thermometer 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 

Plastic squeeze bottle with a narrow tip or a piping bag (see this page) fitted with a #2 piping tip 




Egg yolk1 large

Heavy cream1 tablespoon0.5 ounce15 grams


Walnut pieces2½ cups10 ounces283 grams

Unsalted butter6 tablespoons3 ounces85 grams

Light brown sugar, lightly packed1 cup7 ounces200 grams

Salt½ teaspoon

Pancake syrup¾ cup8.25 ounces234 grams

Maple extract¼ teaspoon

Eggs3 large

White chocolate chips¼ cup1.5 ounces43 grams


Unsalted butter1 tablespoon0.5 ounce14 grams

Confectioners’ sugar½ cup2 ounces57 grams

Pure maple syrup2 tablespoons

Salt⅛ teaspoon

PREPARE THE CRUST AND DECORATION: Divide the pie dough into 2 discs, using about 85% of the dough to create 1 disc and 15% for the other. If you are using a scale (recommended!), the first piece should be 12.5 ounces/350 grams and the other piece should be 2.5 ounces/70 grams. 

Roll out the largest portion of dough to a ⅛-inch thickness and place in a standard 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges as desired (this page), then place the crust in the freezer until it is firm, about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

To prepare the optional maple leaf decoration, roll out the smaller disc of dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Press a large (about 4½ inches in diameter) silicone maple leaf veining tool onto the dough, using the rolling pin to ensure embossing. Peel off the tool and run a fondant veining tool along the leaf veins to reinforce the pattern in the dough. Using a maple leaf cookie cutter (same size as the silicone tool), cut out a maple leaf shape. You can also make the veins of the maple leaf using a blunt tool like the back of a knife. Place the leaf in the freezer to firm for at least 10 minutes. 

Stir the yolk and cream together to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the leaf with the egg wash and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

BEGIN MAKING THE FILLING: Place the walnuts on a sheet pan and bake until they are slightly darker and have a nutty aroma, about 7 minutes. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl and set aside. 

PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F. 

CONTINUE MAKING THE FILLING: When the crust is almost finished baking, melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, pancake syrup, and maple extract. Finally, whisk in the eggs one at a time. 

Microwave the mixture at medium (50%) power, checking the temperature and stirring every minute or so until the mixture reaches 130°F, about 5 minutes (you can also heat the mixture using a double boiler on the stovetop; you will need to keep whisking it over a pan of simmering water—make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water—until it reaches 130°F, about 10 minutes). 

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of walnuts. Fold in the white chocolate chips. 

FILL THE CRUST AND BAKE: Place a pie crust shield on the pie to protect the crust edges from drips and splashes and pour the mixture into the warm pie shell. Gently place the egg-washed leaf (if using) on the surface of the pie in the center. 

Carefully transfer the filled pie to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the leaf is browned and the filling has puffed and set, about 55 minutes. If the center still sloshes when the pie is moved, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until the filling has puffed and the center wobbles slightly. Remove the pie from the oven, take off the shield, and let the pie cool to room temperature before completing. 

PREPARE THE TOPPING: Melt the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Pour this warm glaze into a squeeze bottle or prepared piping bag. Place the pie shield on the pie again to keep the edges clean and place the silicone maple shape over the leaf to mask it. Drizzle the glaze decoratively over the surface of the pie. Remove the shield and silicone leaf. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.) 


Flavor Inspirations

We take pride in the fact that many of our pie creations are flavors that haven’t been seen too often (if ever) baked in a pie crust. Over the years, we’ve been asked how we come up with the ideas for some of our pies. Actually, we find inspiration in the foods we see every day. Ice cream flavors at the grocery store, the cocktail menu at the hip new restaurant, and candy bar aisle at the gas station are all places where we’ve been inspired to create a new pie. We keep our eyes open to what looks good to us, and we keep a list of flavors and flavor combinations that we would like to try in a pie one day. When the time comes to develop a new recipe, we pick a flavor from the list and think (a) how can we make this into a pie? and (b) how can we make this our own? Sometimes it’s enough to turn a fun flavor into a pie that we’ve never seen in a pie before. If it’s something we’ve seen before, we make sure to create it in a way that makes it our own. Sometimes that involves a fresh new take on a classic flavor by incorporating new flavors or techniques into making it. The world is full of inspiration for pie—keep an eye open and you will soon develop an unending list of ideas that you can’t wait to turn into a new pie of your own!


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