This salted maple pie is everything I want in a dessert: a sweet and salty custard in a flaky, buttery crust. Served with billowy whipped cream, it’s heaven, perfect for Thanksgiving, or for any fall or winter gathering.

Sister Pie's Salted Maple Pie on a plate with whipped cream and a spoon.

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.

Sister Pie's Pie-It-Forward: a page in Sister Pie's cookbook.
The cover of a cookbook: Sister Pie
An overhead shot of Sister Pie's Salted Maple Pie, just baked
An open page of Sister Pie's cookbook.
Print
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Sister Pie's Salted Maple Pie

Sister Pie’s Salted Maple Pie


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Description

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.


Ingredients

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:

  • 3⁄4 cup (150 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (142 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup (325 g) maple syrup
  • 1⁄4 cup (32 g) fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1.5 g)
  • 11⁄4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3⁄4 cup (188 g) heavy cream

For finishing:

  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • confectioner’s sugar
 

Instructions

Make the pie dough:

  1. 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, or better for 12 to 24 hours.  
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 13- to 14-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 dough behind itself; then use your fingers to crimp the edge into a fluted pattern — video guidance here. Save the scraps in an airtight container in the fridge for another use. 
  3. If time permits, chill the dough in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.

Parbake the dough: 

  1. 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. Lay a sheet of parchment across the pie plate and pour pie weights or dried beans or rice 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter. Add the maple syrup, cornmeal,  salt, and vanilla. Add the eggs and yolk and whisk again until very well combined or emulsified — this is important: several commenters have had issues with the mixture separating in the oven. Finally, add the cream and whisk one last time until emulsified.
  3. Place the pie plate on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
  4. 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 look slightly underbaked when you remove it but it will continue to set as it cools.
  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack. Sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt. Let cool for 4 to 6 hours. Once fully cooled and at room temperature, slice, and serve. 
  6. 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 (or don’t — I actually like this whipped cream without any sugar because the pie is on the sweet side) and a big pinch of flaky sea salt and beat until peaks begin to get firmer. Taste. Add more sugar (if using) 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.
  7. Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap, or tucked into a jumbo ziplock bag, 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