Author Notes: I first made this recipe from Bon Appetit a little while back and since then, I've adapted it 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
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
- In a food processor, combine butter, lard and flour and whirr a few times until the butter, lard and flour are well combined and have the texture of coarse cornmeal. Add the water one tablespoon at a time, whirring after each addition. 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
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut in cubes
- 1-1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, add the maple syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup 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 whiskey, cinnamon, cloves 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 20 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 and coarsely chop the nuts. 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 together the eggs and vanilla extract. 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Maple Recipe