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Ingredients (15)

For blind baking the crust:

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, crimped and frozen for at least 15 minutes
  • aluminum foil
  • 1 1/2 pounds dried beans (we use pinto and black, but use whatever you have)

For making the pie:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch crust made with All-Butter Pie Dough, blind baked and cooled (see Note)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling top
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This is the signature flavor at Detroit bakery Sister Pie, and it’s a true standout. Inspired by both Christina Tosi’s lauded Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar and Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ Salty Honey Pie (because those were the bakeries where Lisa Ludwinski honed her own formidable skills), it’s similar to a chess pie but so much better. The creamy, caramelly filling is made from robust dark amber maple syrup, heavy cream, eggs, light brown sugar, and a touch of cornmeal, and it’s topped off with sparkling flakes of sea salt for a perfect sweet-salty synergy.

Note: The cookbook has great, detailed instructions for making, rolling out, crimping, and blind baking Sister Pie’s signature All-Butter Pie Dough, but if you don’t have the book on hand, you can also use our Easy Pie Dough recipe. After letting the crust chill in the fridge for at least a couple hours, if not overnight, roll it out, transfer it to your pie plate, crimp the edges, and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes (this ensures the butter bits are cold and helps it reach its flakiest full potential). Then, you’ll be ready to blind bake the crust per the recipe instructions.

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To blind bake the crust:
  1. 1Preheat your oven to 450°F with the rack on the lowest level. Remove the pie crust from the freezer, tear off a square of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than the pie shell, and gently fit it into the frozen crust. Fill the crust with the dried beans (they should come all the way up to the crimps) and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25 to 27 minutes. Check for doneness by peeling up a piece of foil—the crimps should be light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. After 6 minutes, carefully remove the foil and beans. You did it! You are now ready to fill the pie.

To fill and bake the pie:

  1. 1Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. 2Make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and maple syrup. Whisk in the brown sugar, cornmeal, and kosher salt.
  3. 3Crack the eggs and yolk into another medium bowl. Add the cream and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  4. 4Slowly pour the egg mixture into the maple mixture and whisk just until combined.
  5. 5Place the blind-baked shell on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crimped edge with the beaten egg. Pour the maple filling into the pie shell until it reaches the bottom of the crimps.
  6. 6Transfer 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.
  7. 7Remove 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 into 6 to 8 pieces, and serve.
  8. 8Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap or under a pie dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Reprinted with permission from Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit by Lisa Ludwinski, copyright © 2018. Published by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Images copyright © by E.E. Berger

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