Maple pecan pie is slight variation on the traditional Thanksgiving dessert. I spread the bottom of the pie shell with speculoos spread, which adds a hint of cinnamon flavor. It’s perfect for the season. The inside isn't your average pecan pie filling either. The thick pecan-flavored custard contains maple syrup, Grand Marnier and orange zest to bring all the fall flavors together.
Of all the Thanksgiving desserts I’ve made, this is the one where there aren't never any leftovers. The slight variations give the dessert of fun twist, but the key to making a great pecan pie still is just to add a generous amount of pecans.
Servings: 6 servings
1 (8-ounce) can store-bought pie crust (see tips)
1/3 cup speculoos spread
3 eggs, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (see tips)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
5 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the pie crust: Place the dough in a non-stick, loose-bottom, rectangular, (12" x 8") tart pan, previously lined with parchment paper. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Line the dough with another sheet of parchment paper and top with ceramic pie weights (or dried beans). Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the pie weights and discard the pieces of parchment paper. Spread the speculoos inside the pie crust. Set aside.
How to roast pecans: Roast the pecans. To release all the flavor and oil of the pecans, I like to roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 325°F before chopping them. Let them cool and chop them finely.
For the pecan filling: Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam. Add the ground cinnamon, Grand Marnier, orange zest and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar. Add the molasses and maple syrup. Combine the egg mixture with the creamed butter. Pour the pecan filling in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and add the chopped pecans.
Assembly time: Fill the pie crust with the warm pecan filling. Decorate with the reserved halved pecans. Loosely cover the pie pan with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent the pie crust from burning and bake for 15 minutes at 375°F. Remove the aluminum sheet and lower the temperature to 350°F for another 10 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature until the filling sets.
Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored liqueur. For a kid-friendly version, you can substitute ½ teaspoon of orange extract plus ½ teaspoon of imitation Brandy extract for the Grand Marnier.
I used store-bought Pillsbury crescent rolls as the pie crust.
You can find speculoos spread online.
If you're a chocolate addict, check out my chocolate pecan pie recipe.