Sister Pie’s Salted Maple Pie
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A few days before last Thanksgiving, in search of one more pie to add to my dessert spread, I began paging through Sister Pie and landed on this recipe for salted maple pie, the bakery’s take on a classic chess pie, an old-fashioned Southern dessert which typically contains cornmeal, butter, sugar and eggs.
Sister Pie’s version also contains cornmeal but is sweetened with maple syrup and is finished, once the pie cools, with a nice sprinkling of sea salt. I find it irresistible. I think you might, too.
Sister Pie, if you don’t know, is a bakery in Detroit founded by Lisa Ludwinski, a Michagan native, and her cookbook came out a few months ago.
Though I’ve only made one recipe from the book, I have no doubt it’s going to get heavy use — the day after Thanksgiving, I curled up on the couch by the fire and read it nearly cover to cover, transfixed as much by its story as its recipes, the sweet and savory alike.
The introduction to the book, which includes the bakery’s mission statement and an analysis of each sentence, made me cry multiple times. This was one trigger: To support their mission of accessibility, they have a program — the Sister Pie-It-Forward program — that allows customers to pre-purchase pie slices, the paper representation of which gets strung along a pie-it-forward clothesline, ready for anyone to unclip at anytime and to use for any reason. No one leaves without a slice. Pie it forward. Can you handle it?
I don’t want to spoil too many more details, but Lisa also encourages her employees to dance, drink water, sleep, eat cookies, hustle, and be kind. I mean, what? Who? Where? Places and people like this really exist? Fellow cookbook collectors, bakers, and pie lovers: I think you should add Sister Pie to your wish lists.Print
Sister Pie’s Salted Maple Pie
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 pie
Adapted from Sister Pie, a cookbook from the eponymous bakery in Detroit, this salted maple pie, to me, is everything I want in a dessert: a sweet and salty custard in a flaky, buttery crust. Heaven. It is perfect for Thanksgiving, but I think it’s nice for fall in general.
Pie dough recipe adapted from David Lebovitz. To make a double recipe (which I recommend if you are baking for the holidays, follow this recipe.)
I love my Emile Henry pie plate — it makes the best crust.
For the pie dough:
- 1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table or kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (114 g) cold, cubed butter, salted or unsalted
- 1/4 C. + 1 T. (71 g) ice water
For the pie:
- 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1⁄4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- Heaping 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1–1⁄4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Flaky sea salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- confectioner’s sugar
Make the pie dough:
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together. Cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the food processor. Pulse at 1-second intervals until butter is the size of peas—should be about 10 quick pulses. Add the ice water and pulse again about 10 times until the mixture is crumbly but holds together when pinched. Lay a clean tea towel on a work surface. Dump the crumbly dough mixture into the center of the towel. Grab the four corners of the towel together and twist to create a beggar’s purse, pressing the dough into a round. Use your hands to pack and flatten the round. If time permits, chill the dough for 30-60 minutes before proceeding.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12- or 13-inch round. Use as much flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking, and every few rolls, flip the dough over. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate or pan. Trim dough that hangs over by a lot — leave at least an inch over hanging; you may not need to trim everywhere. Tuck the overhanging edges under, between the rim of the pie plate and the dough, and crimp the edge of the dough. If time permits, chill the dough in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
Parbake the dough (Optional):
Note: this is new guidance. If you’ve had success not parbaking with this recipe, you can skip this step. I have in fact had succes not parbaking here, but I do think parbaking makes a superior crust.
- Heat your oven to 425ºF. If you have a Baking Steel or pizza stone, place it on a rack in the lower third of your oven. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the chilled rounds of pie dough, flipping the round over every few strokes, until you have a circle roughly 15 inches in diameter — the thickness should be about that of a Ritz cracker — learned this visual tip from King Arthur Flour.
- Transfer the round to a pie plate. Trim any excessive overhanging pie dough — there should be roughly 1/2 inch of dough overhanging the edge. Save the scraps in an airtight container in the fridge. Tuck the overhanging dough behind itself; then use your fingers to crimp the edge into a fluted pattern — video guidance here. Lay a sheet of parchment across the pie plate and pour pie weights or dried beans into the center until they reach the top of the pie crust. Use your hands to press the weights down and fit them into the edges of the fluted crust.
- Transfer the filled pie crust to a parchment-lined sheet pan and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to color — do rely on the visual cues here. It sometimes takes my crusts a little longer to take on that light color at the edges.
- Remove the pan from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights or dried beans (which you can use again and again — let them cool completely; then transfer to a storage bag). Return the pan to the oven for another 2 to 3 minutes — it should take on only the slightest bit of more color all around.
Fill and Bake the Pie:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and maple syrup. Whisk in the brown sugar, cornmeal, and kosher salt.
- Crack the eggs and yolk into another medium bowl. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture into the maple mixture and whisk just until combined.
- Place the pie plate on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges are puffed and the center jiggles only slightly when shaken. It will continue to set as it cools.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for 4 to 6 hours. Once fully cooled and at room temperature, sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt, slice, and serve.
- To make the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream with a wire whip or in an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Sprinkle in a small handful of sugar and a pinch of sea salt and beat until peaks begin to get firmer. Taste. Add more sugar and salt to taste. Beat until peaks begin to hold their shape or until they reach a texture you like — I like billowy, not-quite-stiff peaks. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
- Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap or under a pie dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pie, maple, salted, Chess, Thanksgiving, dessert
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
45 Comments on “Sister Pie’s Salted Maple Pie”
This looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to make it. Thank you!
Does their book have weights? I have no tolerance anymore for baking books with only volume measurements…
Sally …. it doesn’t 🙁 🙁 🙁 I totally hear you though … weights are so, so nice. BUT I think you might love this book even so.
Oooo…thank you for posting this! I bought this book for my Christmas present (along with…ahem…about 9 more cookbooks) so I cant look at it until Christmas!! Now I have a sneak peak because of you…..but…this might make it that much harder to keep away from it!
It’s such a good one, Rosa!!
I’m fortunate enough to live in the Detroit Metro and have easy access to Sister Pie. Not only can I attest to the wonder that is their shop, but have also found that every…. single… recipe from their cookbook I’ve made so far has turned out wonderfully. So glad to see it featured here!
Oh Sara! Lucky you. I’m so happy to hear other recipes from the book have been a success as well. I can’t wait to try others… it’s really put me in the holiday-baking spirit. Thanks so much for writing. Happy happy holidays!
This looks delicious, and it’s not pumpkin pie.
I still haven’t totally forgiven you for that butternut squash lasagna last year. Talk about a good thing and, of course, wanting too much of a good thing! Only kidding; it’s a great recipe. My only change was I made extra béchamel for the top, which worked well.
I gave your wonderful book Bread Toast Crumbs with two Pyrex bowls as a shower gift to a lovely young woman I used to work with. It was so well received, and your bread is made weekly in her house, that she is giving that exact gift to her mother and her mother-in-law for Christmas this year.
PLEASE do your local Christmas shopping suggestions again this year. I don’t live that far from you (Stephentown) so I can get to all those good places.
Oh I’m so happy to hear all of this! Thank you for spreading the Bread Toast Crumbs love. So happy you like that butternut squash lasagna … extra bechamel is never a bad thing. Smart!
I absolutely will do another local guide … there will be some repetition in the shops, but there are a few new places I’ve been loving.
Happy happy holidays to you as well! Thank you for saying hello.
I love your book and have given out several copies which were enthusiastically recieved…..I have regularly made your bread and now want to try the cheesy cheddar and parmigiano recipe…my question is can I do the overnight rise with this recipe…I have had great success withe the overnight rise before…thank you
So happy to hear this! Yes, you can absolutely do the overnight rise with the cheddar-parm bread. Definitely do the rise in the fridge (as opposed to at room temperature) because of the cheese. As always, the key is just to be patient with the second rise … when it’s cold out especially, the second rise may take longer, but it will get there. Happy Baking!
Thank you, Ellen! I’m looking forward to trying some of the recipes in Melissa’s Comfort in an Instant. I made an instant pot butternut squash soup yesterday (recipe from the web) and it was so good and made me realize I need to use my IP more.
i’m making two of these right now and they smell amazing! i was wondering why my pies were not setting even though it has been over and hour and just realized i forgot the CORNMEAL. augh!! i knew it was not the greatest idea to make them while 3 little kids were hanging off my legs. alas… hoping they still set a bit and taste ok despite the huge error. any tips? thanks for the great recipe!
I made this recipe from the sister pie book, and the flavor was great, but the inside when it was cooled was pretty wet compared to what I would expect from a similar pumpkin pie. Is this supposed to be a wetter pie or did I unfortunately undercook?
Oh bummer! It sounds as though it was a little undercooked. It’s definitely a wet texture — it’s a custard — but it shouldn’t be too wet. The cornmeal gives it a little more texture/body. I’m sorry to hear this!
I love the flaky sea salt, too 🙂 🙂 🙂 Question: by maple water do you mean watery? Can you elaborate a little on the texture? I’m just not sure what that maple water is. Regarding the crimping, I actually just made a new video (two new videos actually) here: https://alexandracooks.com/2018/11/13/favorite-all-purpose-pie-dough-recipe-all-the-pies-i-use-it-with/
But in short: I think if you freeze the shaped pie shell for at least 30 minutes before filling it and baking it, that helps.
Can you use regular yellow cornmeal
I would imagine! The texture of the custard might be a little less smooth, but that wouldn’t bother me.
Am I reading this recipe right? You don’t blind Bake the crust first?
Correct! I never find blind baking to be that worth the effort but if you are comfortable blind baking, go for it. I find that when I blind bake, the crust then over-bakes once it is filled and covering the crust to prevent it from browning with foil never really works that well. I do love my Emile Henry pie plate, which makes a crisp crust. What type of pie plate do you typically use? As in what material? Another trick I learned: sprinkle a thin layer of panko over the bottom crust before baking to prevent a soggy bottom.
Hi Alexandra, I am a first time commenter but I adore your site! If I wanted to make the pie in advance, do you think it would freeze well? If so, would you recommend freezing before or after baking? Thank you!
Hi Marnie! I would suggest freezing before baking. I would make the dough, fit into the pie plate, freeze it. Make the filling, pour it into the pie plate, and freeze again. Then bake directly from the freezer. THank you for the kind words!!
Hi there, I’m baking multiple(9) 5” pies. And changes in baking instructions or suggestions?
Hi Becky, My only suggestion is to maybe not mix 5x the batter at once. Whenever I find myself in these situations, I’ll mix a double batch or a triple batch at most, then divvy it up. And then make another double batch, etc. Make sense? Maybe I’m being too cautious. Are you planning on baking them all at once? That worries me a little bit too. I would maybe bake 3 pies at a time at the most. Hope that helps!
I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a HIT! My family raved and fought over the last piece. Have you ever adapted a pie recipe to mini pies? I think it would be so nice to gift mini Salted Maple pies for Christmas. Any ideas on how to execute would be lovely. Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!
I made this pie this year as well … I was only going to make two, then couldn’t resist making a third, and it was my favorite of the three pies. Glad you approve!
This is the cutest idea! Honestly, I don’t think the process will be much different: I would roll out the dough, chill the pie plates fitted with the dough, fill and bake. They may take slightly less time to bake, but I don’t think it will be much less. I would bake the pies on a sheet pan just as you do with the large pie.
I’m not offering much help here! Let me know if you have other specific questions.
Made this for Christmas–it was amazing! Not too too sweet and really good flavor. A new hit! Also the crust was dead easy and delicious. Thank you!
Wonderful to hear this, Julia! I love this one, too 🙂
Thank you Ali, I love your recipes! I want to make this pie but I’m nervous about the “fine” yellow cornmeal. Is mine fine enough? I don’t know. What cornmeal do you use?
Hi Pamela, I imagine whatever cornmeal you have is just fine. Do you have the brand? I’m not at home at the moment, so I forget what brand I use, but I can check when I get home.
I’m excited to finally give this recipe a try! I am notoriously awful at making pie crusts – they always seem raw. The dreaded soggy bottom. Do your recommend parbaking this crust?
You can do it, Rachel 💪💪💪💪💪 I promise. I do recommend parbaking this crust. It’s one of my favorites. I’m so looking forward to making (and eating) it!
Thank you for the encouragement and parbaking recommendation! Fingers crossed.
I LOVE this cookbook! And I’m a collector – which includes yours too! Thanks for putting this out there will have to try this pie- also if you haven’t tried the granola in her book I highly recommend! Love the addition of buckwheat groats. I do reduce the amount of maple syrup and add extra nuts – but otherwise with the lovely fennel seeds it’s amazing.
Rebecca, me too! It’s so energizing to read — I just love its spirit. I will definitely try the granola recipe soon. Buckwheat sounds so interesting! Thanks for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂
Yes, after trying this I add buckwheat groats to all my granola – it’s a great texture – almost like a nut. Sometimes hard to find but Bob’s Red Mill has them.
Wonderful! I’ll look for the Bob’s Red Mill brand. Thanks!
Two questions, can I parbake the crust today and fill and bake tomorrow? And when you parbake on the parchment lined baking tray, do you set it directly on the Baking Steel?
I made this last Thanksgiving (without parbaking) and it was DELICIOUS!
Happy, happy Thanksgiving!
So sorry just getting to this!
The answers are yes: definitely, you can parbake a day or two in advance. Let the crust cool completely and store it in an airtight bag — I use an extra-large ziplock.
Yes, place the baking tray directly on the Baking Steel.
Hope it turned out as well as last year, and I hope you had a Happy Happy Thanksgiving as well! I love this pie 🙂
Ok, I thought I had corn meal but I don’t. Think it’s worth it to sub corn starch instead?
I don’t think corn starch is the right swap … I would do all purpose flour if you have it.
In the oven now and it looks and smells heavenly. Went off script and added about a cup of chopped walnuts 🙂
Yum! Hope you love it. I think the walnuts will add a lovely contrast of textures 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made your Apple Galette, and decided to make this Salted Maple Pie with the leftover dough.
As it was a list minute decision I didn’t have cornmeal on hand, so I used spelt flour instead. The pie turned out wonderfully. I’ll be making it again for Christmas instead of the usual buttermilk pie.
Yay! I love this one so much. Nice call on using the spelt flour in place of the cornmeal. Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂