With a flaky crust and gooey center, this classic French Canadian Maple Sugar Pie is utterly irresistible. Similar to its salted honey and chess pie cousins, the filling is made with brown sugar and a splash of maple syrup for a deeply flavorful forkful. A bit of flakey sea salt and confectioners’ sugar compliment the myriad of soft, crisp, and flaky textures.
What is a Sugar Pie?
Similar to chess pie of the South, Sugar Pie has western European roots and is celebrated in Quebec and French Canadian communities across Canada. Also known as Tart au Sucre, the indulgent pie has a gooey, deeply caramelized sugar filling primarily made with brown sugar and/or maple syrup, eggs and cream that is encased in a flaky crust.
Where chess pie is made with granulated white sugar, Sugar Pie is made with brown sugar. Imagine a pecan pie, minus the pecans or even its English Canadian butter tart cousins – but with maple and caramel notes. Not all sugar pies contain maple syrup, but as those with just brown sugar in the filling cook, they taste heavily of maple. To celebrate our love for Canada, this recipe does contain a splash of maple that makes the filling sticky, sweet, and seriously addictive.
To offset all of the sweet, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt is the perfect touch. The end result is similar to the famed Salty Honey Pie from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, but with caramelized maple flavors instead of floral honey.
How to Par Bake a Pie Crust
This pie starts with the crust. I always prefer to make my pie dough by hand. The two main reasons being: 1) Making pie dough by hand gives me a better sense of control over the ingredients and usually leads to a flakier crust and 2) I hate taking out and washing my food processor.
It is best to chill the pie crust before rolling. After the dough has been handled and butter softened, chill the pie crust in the refrigerator (preferably for 2 hours or overnight). Allow the pie crust to sit out for about 10 minutes before rolling.
Before adding the filling, the pie crust needs to be partially baked. No soggy bottoms here! Roll out the dough so that it is 1 to 2 inches larger than the diameter of the pie pan (flip the pie pan upside down and place on the rolled dough – the dough should be 1 to 2 inches larger on all of the sides). Fit the pie dough into the pie and chill for 30 minutes (this will help the crimped edge keep its shape). At this time, begin preheating the oven.
When ready to bake, line the chilled pie with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights (dried beans, uncooked rice, or even plain sugar). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pie and carefully lift out the parchment paper and pie weights. Return the pie crust to the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the bottom is dry to the touch. Your pie crust is now par baked! No need to chill before moving on to the filling in this case.
Maple Sugar Pie Recipe
serves 8 to 10
adapted from Bake From Scratch
All Butter Pie Dough
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Flaky sea salt and confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick. Fit the pie dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges and crimp as desired. Place the pie dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Top the pie dough with a piece of foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights (see above for alternatives). Bake the pie shell for about 15 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven. Carefully remove the pie weights and continue to bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the bottom of the pie crust is dry to the touch. Place the pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Reduce the oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, egg yolks and egg. Add the flour and cornstarch and stir until smooth.
Heat the cream and butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Temper the warmed cream into the egg mixture. Whisking constantly, pour a little bit of cream in at a time. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Using a mesh sieve, strain the mixture into the partially baked pie shell.
Move the rimmed baking sheet (wish the filled pie on top) into the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. When done, the sides should be set but the center of the pie should slightly jiggle when you wiggle the pan). Allow the pie to completely before serving. It is okay if the filling cracks slightly as it cools. Top with a sprinkle of flaky salt and a shower of confectioners’ sugar for serving.
All-Butter Pie Dough
1/3 cup ice cold water*
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, diced
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar.
Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or by hand, rubbing the pieces of butter between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Once the pieces are no longer lager than about a peanut, begin to flatten the pieces of butter in sheets between your palms. Be careful not to over-work the butter or let it get too warm.
Working with only a couple tablespoons at a time, add in about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the water. Stir together using a wooden spoon or even just a clean hand in the bowl. The dough should appear fairly shaggy and not sticky. If it is too dry, sprinkle on a bit more water as you combine the ingredients. Once you can squeeze a few pieces together and they hold, the dough is done being mixed and hydrated. Do not over-mix or add too much water*. Review the step-by-step photos for How to Make Pie Dough by Hand.
Divide the dough into half and shape each piece into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, or overnight (preferably).
The pie filling will puff up in the oven. Make sure to use the appropriate-sized pan. For insurance, bake the pie on a rimmed baking sheet just in case the filling spills over during baking.
Strain the filling mixture before baking to remove any partially cooked eggs after tempering.
Be careful not to overbake the pie. The center will set as the pie cools.
Maple Sugar Pie Recipe was shared on: Style Sweet
Maple Sugar Pie Recipe
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