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Husbands can never be fully trusted. Their intentions may seem saintly, but the facts too often belie that mystic hope. My husband, for example is constantly attempting to manipulate me.

I grew up in Brooklyn, he in Oregon. I was immersed in culture, he in Oregon. I ate bagels for breakfast, he ate pie. Or so he tells me. His tales of his youth are sometimes contorted.

I am not a pie person. He is. His pie breakfasts can begin at 2AM when I find him raiding the refrigerator. I used to decline his requests for pie, and he at first respected that. Then he bought Pie by Ken Haedrick. He will sit in a chair, with a bunch of stickies, mark pages and make various guttural noises.

“What is it?” I asked one night a couple of weeks ago.

“Oh, nothing,” Brian said.

I couldn’t let it go. Two years ago we played this game and he introduced to me an Apple Jalapeno pie from Pie, a dish that is beyond description [yes, it’s been blogged here]. Brian used my passion for Southwestern food against me then. And now he was clearly attempting a new scam.

“Ummmmmmm,” he said long and low.

“Alright, damnit,” I took the book from his hands. I read the recipe and gave him the answer he was expecting. “Oh, my God. Let’s make this.”

To do this pie with full grace, we needed maple syrup. The next day, we biked a rail trail in the Berkshires and on our way home passed by a sign saying “Maple Syrup” at the head of a very old road.

“Turn around,” I said. We backtracked, took the turn onto the narrow, cracked farm road. After a mile we pulled up to a farm stand, grayed wood leaning hard to one side. There was no one there. Purchase of some very pricey maple syrup was on the honor system. We took a pint and left $18.

Back home that day, we carefully produced this pie for a holiday party. The topping of whipped cream was made with a generous splash of maple syrup, too.

This is a wonderful, sophisticated dessert. I may be trying it for breakfast myself. If my trusty husband leaves me any.

Maple Custard Pie

Yield: 1 pie


  • 1 single crust pie shell of your preference, preferably a flaky curst
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy or whipping cream
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks


If you haven not already done so, prepare your pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 12- or 13-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, center and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching and sculpt the edge so that it is even with the rim. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes, the partially prebake at 400⁰ and let cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 350⁰.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk briefly, until evenly mixed. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell.

Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake until the filling is nicely browned, 35 to 40 minutes total. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces the forward. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until down. The middle should be jiggly but not soupy.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool thoroughly. Serve at room temperature or better yet, cover loosely with tented aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or even overnight before serving.

If you desire [and my husband did] adorn the top of the cooled pie with a layer of sweetened whipped cream just before serving. We used the maple syrup, not sugar, as the sweetening agent here. That gave us a consistent maple flavor from top to bottom

Source: Pie by Ken Haedrick