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Melissa Clark's Spiced Maple Pecan Pie with Star Anise

Ingredients (13)

For the pie crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup Demerara or raw sugar
  • 8 whole star anise
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dark aged rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Whipped crème fraîche, for serving
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Cookbook author and New York Times columnist Melissa Clark cooks down maple syrup with star anise to create a thick, spicy syrup that adds intense maple flavor to this pecan pie. It’s a fabulous upgrade from the usual corn syrup-laden pie, and definitely deserves its spot in our best Thanksgiving pie recipes roundup.

Read more about how to make the pie and see our tips for perfect pie dough if you don’t have a food processor (or just prefer to make the crust the old-fashioned way).

See our Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide for more hacks, expert advice, and festive recipes.

Get The Cookbook

Cook This Now

120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make

by Melissa Clark

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  • What to buy

    Pyrex Easy Grab 9.5-Inch Glass Pie Plate, 2 for $12.99 on Amazon

    These can go straight from fridge to oven to table, and glass lets you see how brown your bottom crust is getting.

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Tips for Christmas and Eggs

Instructions

  1. 1To make the crust, in a food processor, briefly pulse together the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms lima bean–size pieces (three to five 1-second pulses). Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture is just moist enough to hold together. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic, and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out and baking (or up to a week, or freeze for up to 4 months).
  2. 2On a lightly floured surface, roll out the piecrust to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp as decoratively as you can manage.
  3. 3Prick the crust all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the pie with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights (you can use pennies, rice, or dried beans for this; I use pennies). Bake for 20 minutes; remove the foil and weights and bake until pale golden, about 5 minutes more. Cool on a rack until needed.
  4. 4To make the filling, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup, Demerara sugar, and star anise to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture is very thick, all the sugar has dissolved, and the syrup measures 1 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 1 hour for the anise to infuse.
  5. 5While the syrup is infusing, toast the nuts. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they start to smell nutty, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  6. 6Remove the star anise from the syrup. Warm the syrup if necessary to make it pourable but not hot (you can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds if you’ve moved it to a measuring cup). In a medium bowl, whisk together the syrup, eggs, melted butter, rum, and salt. Fold in the pecan halves. Pour the filling into the crust and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the pie is firm to the touch but jiggles slightly when moved, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving with whipped crème fraîche.

Reprinted with permission from Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can’t Wait to Make by Melissa Clark. Copyright 2011. Published by Hyperion Books.

Melissa Clark's Spiced Maple Pecan Pie with Star Anise
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