Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Maple Syrup Pie (Page 773)

RECIPE #1074

  • Date: Saturday, December 19, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our New House!
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Phil O.
  • Recipe Rating: B

I would have made this pie sooner but the recipe called for an 8-inch pie plate or a 9-inch tart pan (both of which are unusual sizes). Lucky for me, I got such a tart pan as part of a wedding gift from Vero and Philippe, so I had what I needed to tackle this recipe! I started by making a pie crust, rolling it out, and fitting it into the tart pan. Then I whisked together brown sugar and eggs. I added heavy cream, dark amber maple syrup, and melted butter. I poured the filling into the shell and baked until the filling looked dry but still trembled. I let it cool then served it with creme fraiche. This pie was pretty tasty. It had a rich maple flavor. It was ridiculously sweet, so serving it with the creme fraiche was essential. The sourness of the creme fraiche balanced the extreme sweetness of the pie nicely. I had two minor issues with this recipe. One, I think even with the creme fraiche it would be too sweet for some people. Two, the filling didn't set up quite right. I took the pie out of the oven exactly when The Book directed: when the pastry was golden and the filling was dry but still trembled. However, even after letting it cool, when I sliced into the pie it was clear that the filling in the middle below the surface hadn't set. This liquidy filling also made the bottom crust rather soggy. It was unappealing. It needed another 5 or 10 minutes in the oven, but there was no way to know that from the instructions in the recipe. That said, it was still tasty, and it made a nice dessert for a cold winter night.

The recipe is here.

There is a certain kind of childhood where every summer you pile into a mini-van with your parents and your siblings and you drive throughout the country visiting national parks and monuments. I didn't have that kind of childhood. We didn't have a mini-van. And my brother hated family road trips with a passion. So at age 18 I had never been to a national park. (To be fair, I grew up in Wisconsin, a state with no national parks). Then I went to college in California, a state brimming with national parks, but somehow it never occured to me to visit any of them. Three or four years ago a friend of mine started teasing me about this. He was shocked that I was taking a trip to Las Vegas with a friend and we weren't going to visit the Grand Canyon. He's not American -- he moved to the States around age 26 I think -- and he had still been to a half a dozen national parks. At the time I didn't understand his surprise -- I had been to plenty of state and county parks and I just didn't understand what the big deal was about the national parks.

This summer my special gentleman and I went to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Canyonlands, and Arches national parks and I learned something: the national parks are amazing! And suddenly it does seem crazy that I lived just a few hours from Yosemite for four years and I have still never been there (soon to be remedied!). What was I thinking?!? Today we went to the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona (awesome!) and tomorrow we are hiking at the Grand Canyon. I am already plotting which parks we will be able to get to this semester in California... and on our drive back east in June... Fun, fun!

On an unrelated note, my friends Teresa and Mike had their baby today -- it's a girl!! Everyone is healthy and I am super excited to meet baby Sami when I go back to Bloomington in a couple weeks. Congratulations to them!


vero said...

How appropriate that you made this with our wedding gift!

Growing up in Quebec, every member of my family always had a dozen cans of maple syrup in their cupboards. In fact, we would have a Maple syrup pie once a month in winter.

I can't help you with the sweetness. I guess we live in a different time. But let me know if you want my grandma's recipe or one from the "Quebec cooking bible" to help with the cooking.

Teena said...

Haha -- I didn't even think about the fact that this recipe comes from Quebec! Once I am done with this project I will definitely hit you up for a better recipe. I would have liked this a lot if it had been cooked properly. Mmmm.... maple syrup!

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