Author Notes: I came across this recipe from Bon Appetit some years ago and all I had to see were the words maple, hazelnut, and pie together to get me in the kitchen. I've adapted the original recips to make it a spicier, zingier and maplier (OK, that's totally not a word, but it should be). It's now something like a more grown-up and sophisticated pecan pie, with the deep flavor of maple leading the way. I recommend using grade B maple syrup for this recipe -- you'll get a very deep, rich flavor from it. Also, I've become a big fan of using leaf lard in my pastry -- this pie is an especially good example of what it can bring to pastries. The crust shatters into flaky goodness and there's just a whisper of savoriness that really compliments the maple. But, of course, if you're lard averse, you may simply replace the lard with an equal amount of butter. - vrunka
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons leaf lard (or butter)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
- Using a pastry blender or food processor, combine butter, lard and flour until the mixture has the texture of coarse cornmeal. Add the water one tablespoon at a time. Once the dough starts to come together, stop adding water. Turn out the dough on a clean work surface. Work into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Roll out the dough and place it in a 9-inch pie pan. Be sure to leave plenty of extra at the edges to make a decorative rim.
Maple Hazelnut Filling
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut in cubes
- 1-1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
- 4 eggs
- In a medium saucepan, add the maple syrup, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a low boil and stir until everything is dissolved and incorporated. Reduce heat to low and reduce for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add run, ginger, and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Add butter a few cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Remove from heat and allow to cool at least 30 minutes (longer if you can wait).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes until the hazelnuts become slightly brown and fragrant. Remove them from the oven and immediately cover spread them on a clean kitchen towel. Bundle up the hazelnuts in the towel and allow to rest about 5-10 minutes. Vigorously rub the towel to loosen the hazelnut skins (careful not to let your hazelnuts fly everywhere!). This won’t get the nuts completely de-skinned, but it’ll be close enough. Separate the nuts and the skins. Set aside. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.Scatter hazelnuts across the bottom of your prepared pie crust (see recipe below). In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Slowly pour the maple mixture into egg mixture, whisking to incorporate. Pour this mixture over the hazelnuts. Set the pie on a baking sheet (just in case the filling boils over) and set the pie in the oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour, until the filling is pretty well set (give it the jiggle test - if you jiggle the pan and filling sloshes, it’s not done. If the filling just jiggles, it’s good!). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.