Maple and Toasted Pecan Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

Maple and Toasted Pecan Pie with Maple Whipped Cream

November 26, 2012

I love pecan pie. In my family pumpkin pie is not a necessary part of our Thanksgiving dinner; I’ll often make both pumpkin and pecan pie but if push were to come to shove, I know where everyone’s heart lies. It’s not just for Thanksgiving either…nope; we’re happy to do a repeat just a month later for Christmas. My recipe actually requires cooking of the filling prior to baking and it makes for a superior result. Still, after wondering for too many years what it would be like to substitute  maple syrup for dark corn syrup I decided it was time to just go for it. I shouldn’t have put this off for so long!

Each year on Thanksgiving as I make the pies for our dinner, I’m reminded of when I lived in North Carolina. My husband and I had moved there from a suburb of St. Louis with our Irish Setter Heather and it was the first time we had spent a holiday away from our families. We were delighted that our new next door neighbors, Janie and Bob, were also from St. Louis; we became fast friends and they were soon our local ‘family.’

They had an adorable daughter Erin and she bonded quickly with our girl Heather. Erin loved Heather so much, if she ever felt bad or had to stay home from school; Heather would go spend the day snuggled up with her.  She was the sweetest dog and we called her Nurse Heather.

Heather was loved by their family as much as ours and would be invited to any group get together. Our plans for the big Turkey Day were to split up the meal as groups often do and I was in charge of dessert. I did what I presumed people would expect, especially since we were all from someplace else and memories of home seem necessary on this day of thanks. One pumpkin pie and one pecan pie. Made on Wednesday and ready to go; easy peasy.

Thanksgiving morning my husband asked where the pecan pie was. I thought he was kidding but I got up from bed and played along with the game. Except he wasn’t kidding…it had disappeared. We found the empty pie plate behind the sofa and the culprit was at hand. You know how utterly charming it is when a dog is chagrined so much that you almost feel sorry for them? Yes, that was Heather. She had eaten an ENTIRE PECAN PIE!

Was she sick? As a dog; she spent the day ‘regurgitating’ pecans (I wanted to say it as nicely as possible!). Back in those ‘olden days’ there were no grocery stores open on holidays or Sundays; only convenience stores. So instead of a relaxing day before heading to our neighbors, we had to hunt down the ingredients for another pie from stores not really stocked for homemade pies! One had butter, another had syrup and I think it took a trip to a third before we accumulated enough of those little packs of pecans to equate to enough for a pie.

Still, the pie got made and Heather had recuperated enough to come with us and let Erin be her nurse for a change. Is there a punch line to this tale of woe? All depends…can you believe that dog BEGGED for pie? Yes, pecan pie. We thought her pretty smart but really…she wanted some more pie. Must have been good huh? :)

This one sure was; the maple adds a wonderful element; we’ll not be going back to Karo ever…add a bit more of the maple syrup to the whipped cream and then go ahead…really indulge with a bit of caramel. Pumpkin pie? In our home…who cares??!!

Maple and Toasted Pecan Pie with Maple Whipped Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6-8 Servings
For the Pie:
  • 9" pie shell - homemade or prepared
  • 2 cups small pecan halves
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cup large pecan halves
For the Maple Whipping Cream:
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Caramel Sauce for garnish, homemade or purchased
  1. Place 2 cups pecan halves on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes, stirring the pecans once during baking time, until the pecans are fragrant. Let cool completely, then coarsely chop.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat; mix in sugars and salt with wire whisk until butter is absorbed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in maple and vanilla.
  4. Cook and stir constantly with wire whisk until mixture is hot and looks shiny, about 6-7 minutes, stirring constantly so the eggs don't scramble on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in the cooled, toasted pecans.
  5. Pour pecan mixture into the pie crust. Place large pecan halves on top of the filling in a decorative pattern.
  6. Bake the pie until center feels set but soft when touched with your finger, and moves slightly when the pie is gently jiggled, about 40-55 minutes. You may need to cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent over browning, or cover the top of the pie with foil.
  7. Transfer pie to wire rack and let cool completely, at least 5 hours.
To Make the Whipping Cream:
  1. Have mixing bowl and beaters chilled for best results.Beat whipped cream until soft peaks form; add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until firm.
  2. Dollop whipped cream on top of pie slices; drizzle with the caramel sauce.
Best eaten within 12-14 hours but who am I kidding...we've never had pie leftover that's great for breakfast the next day!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura Dembowski November 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I love pecan pie too! This looks fab especially with that drizzle of caramel!
Laura Dembowski Most Recent Post: Salted Caramel Apple Pie #SundaySupper


2 Nancy@acommunaltable November 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

I can’t tell you the last time I had pecan pie… my family are not fans of pie and so I rarely if ever make one! What I would not give for a slice of this pie….. and I know the maple syrup would be fabulous in it…. hmmm may just have to make a pie!!
Nancy@acommunaltable Most Recent Post: Quick and Easy Cassoulet Dinner


3 Creative Culinary November 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

I used to love cakes more than pies but things change…now I love both! Hey, make it for YOU…you deserve it.


4 addie | culicurious November 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This looks like a fantastic pecan pie :) YUM! Hope ya’ll had a happy Thanksgiving!
addie | culicurious Most Recent Post: Spaghetti al Limone Recipe


5 Jayne November 27, 2012 at 7:45 am

I loved this post! Regurgitating had me in stitches and yes I remember the olden days when stores closed on holidays! I would pick pecan pie over pumpkin too. What a relief to have an alternative to the dreaded Karo too! Your pie sounds wonderful, would love a piece right now!
Jayne Most Recent Post: Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot soup


6 claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 27, 2012 at 6:10 am

This is the PERFECT holiday pie Barbara!!
claire @ the realistic nutritionist Most Recent Post: Warm Mushroom Salad with Creamy Pumpkin Dressing


7 sara November 27, 2012 at 12:38 am

Yum! I love pecan pie…definitely one of my holiday favorites. Bet it is amazing with maple flavor!
sara Most Recent Post: Cranberry Hand Pies and a Thanksgiving Feast


8 Creative Culinary November 28, 2012 at 1:29 am

So good Sara I will do it this way forever. :)


9 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Poor dog! naughty dog too. Recently I caught Charlie headed out the door with a huge pork belly that he’d gotten off the counter while I dashed to the shelves to get a pan. He’s a little dog – how he got up there to get that meat I’ll never know. Thankfully he does a good, “drop!” and dinner was saved. I did wash it well. :)

I’m intrigued by this precooking in this pie. I must try it because it looks amazing.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef Most Recent Post: Baked Stuffed Mushrooms


10 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

She was such a good, sweet, wonderful dog we couldn’t even get mad at her…especially since she was pretty pathetic all day long. I think the precooking just creates a hard to describe but better result! Easy still though if you ask me!


11 Amanda November 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Oh, I just love maple anything so much I will have to give this a try. We usually have pavlova for our summer Xmas lunch, but I think this will be a nice alternative. I just wish maple syrup wasn’t so expensive here!
Amanda Most Recent Post: The Breville Tea Maker – Just My Cup of Tea – Now You Can Win One!


12 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

It’s not cheap here either but at least Costco carrying it helps. I treasure and dole it out so this was a big deal!


13 Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I love the maple syrup in your pie – so much better than corn syrup! This looks like a winner!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) Most Recent Post: brown butter-candy cookie bars


14 Holly November 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I am with you– pecan pie is fabulous and there is no need for pumpkin. I made pumpkin pie for a friend this year but skipped the pecan since I knew I’d eat the whole thing– my husband doesn’t like pecan pie. My mistake! I should have made the pie and enjoyed every last crumb too! I’ll do it at Christmas for sure.
Holly Most Recent Post: Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


15 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I thought I would get shot down over that admission Holly but instead it seems I am not alone. I didn’t need a hubs to make this pie…so make it for you even though you have one. That’s only fair sometimes, right?


16 Jamie November 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

What a story, Barb! And what a pie! I can only imagine that this story floats into your mind every single time you bake one of these babies. Gorgeous scrumptious pie, too! And I love that autumny whipped cream!


17 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

That it does…even wished I could think of a place I have a photo of that dog. I adore Abbie…she and Heather were equally loved even if a generation in dog years apart.


18 kitchenriffs November 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

Really fun story! And the best part is your dog begs for pie! I’d certainly beg for a piece of that – it looks tremendous. Love the idea of using maple syrup. Good stuff – thanks.
kitchenriffs Most Recent Post: Chocolate Pepper Cookies


19 Cookin' Canuck November 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

I love the story. It sounds as though your pie was properly Heather-endorsed. What a great idea to replace the corn syrup with maple syrup.
Cookin’ Canuck Most Recent Post: Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers {Vegetarian}


20 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

I can’t believe she ate the whole thing! Well, yeah, I can believe it…I could almost eat a whole pecan pie myself. I love the little extra touches in this pecan pie – the toasted nuts, the maple whipped cream…just different enough to make it extra special yet still a classic. Fantastic recipe, Barb.
Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Most Recent Post: Turkey, Mushroom, and Potato Soup


21 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

Sort of my thoughts too…but she was only a 45 lb dog; shows you they don’t have the sense to stop but do have the sense to choose pecan over pumpkin! :)


22 Miriam @ Overtime Cook November 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

Oh my. I don’t really know what to say about this except that I absolutely must have it.
Miriam @ Overtime Cook Most Recent Post: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes with Marshmallow Fluff Frosting


23 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

That’s the spirit Miriam!


24 Kate | Food Babbles November 26, 2012 at 6:40 am

Aww! I can just see that poor, sick dog after the delight of devouring such an amazing pie and you trying to round up all the ingredients for your “do over” pie. I adore pumpkin pie but for me, pecan is the ultimate pie! I have a recipe I’ve always made but yours with the toasted pecans and hints of maple make me want to give it a try. This sounds wonderful and I just want to stick my finger in the maple whipped cream and caramel sauce. Yum!!
Kate | Food Babbles Most Recent Post: Sinful Cinnamon Muffins – #MuffinMonday


25 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 8:27 am

She was pathetic I won’t deny. Funny how the whole scene..Heather, the pie, Thanksgiving…they come rushing back every fall. I’m only sorry it wasn’t the digital age…would love to have included a photo of Heather but it would have required that I first figure out where they could be and then dig through hundreds to find one. She was a gorgeous dog…even after stealing a whole pie!


26 Paula November 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

I can’t believe that the dog ate an entire pie and lived to tell about it. Heather is one lucky pooch.

Looking at this dessert, I can see why it would be snatched off the counter! An act not totally reserved for those four-legged lovers of sweets. It’s a beautiful looking pie and I love the addition of the maple syrup over the ice cream too.
Paula Most Recent Post: Snow Figures Cookie Trio


27 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 8:25 am

I know, right? The part that has always killed me is once feeling better she wanted more! I still can’t eat what used to be a favorite salad dressing after getting sick after a dinner over 25 years ago!


28 Mimi rippee November 26, 2012 at 5:44 am

Beautiful pie as well as photos! Thanks for the recipe!
Mimi rippee Most Recent Post: Lentil Soup with Chicken


29 Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thank you Mimi…this morning? The last piece is breakfast. :)


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