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Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie

4 from 2 reviews

This Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie has a creamy, smooth filling that is the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. Bake it up in a hearty Spelt Pie Crust with decorative maple leaves for a festive look. It’s crucial to bake the pastry fully before pouring in the filling, and to brush it with a whisked egg white while it is still hot.  Custards are baked at a low temperature so it would be impossible for the crust to actually bake with the filling inside, so be sure to follow the instructions for blind baking the crust. The brushed on egg white helps create a barrier between the filling and the crust. This helps keep the pie crust crisp after the custard has been baked. Make sure to not overbake the pie:

A properly cooked custard is set (and safe to eat) between 170º – 180º. I often use a thermometer to check the temperature of the pie, to be sure. Or, look at the outer edges and seeing if they have begun to “soufflé”, or puff up. Look for the soufflé effect to go in about 1-1/2 to 2″ from the outer edge, and for the center of the pie to still be jiggly. At this point, you want to take your pie out of the oven, and place it at room temperature to cool and finish setting up.

Ingredients

For Pastry:

For Maple Buttermilk Custard:

  • 1/3 cup (52 grams) maple sugar (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch (or 3 tablespoons flour)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup (115 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (156 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (340 grams) buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and place one oven rack in the second to lowest spot and one in the middle.
  2. Prepare pastry: Roll out the pie dough to an 11″ circle and line a 9” pie plate, crimp the edges as desired. Place in the freezer to firm up for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Line the pie dough with a parchment round piece of paper and then add pie weights to fill (or dry rice or beans or lentils), making sure to push pie weights to the edges. Bake for 20 minutes on the lower rack, then remove from oven and remove the parchment and pie weights. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until the pastry is fully baked through. Whisk together egg white and water and brush the mixture on the hot pie crust all over, to help keep the crust crisp. Set aside prepared crust until ready to use.
  4. Lower the heat to 325º.
  5. To make the filling: Whisk together the maple sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Add in 4 eggs and leftover egg yolk (leftover from egg white used to brush the crust), cream, maple syrup, and extracts. Strain the mixture twice. Then, whisk in the buttermilk at the very end
  6. Next, pre-cook the custard mixture: Pour the buttermilk custard into a medium pot and turn the heat to medium low. Cook the mixture for 5-7 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula constantly, until the mixture has just slighty thickened, about 160ºF. To double-check the custard has formed, take a wooden spoon and coat it with the custard. Draw a horizontal line on the back of the spoon with your finger. If the line “holds” then your custard is set. If the line collapses right away, the custard needs another minute or so. However do not bring the mixture to a boil, this will overcook the custard.
  7. Slowly pour the filling into the baked crust.
  8. Place the pie onto your oven’s middle rack and bake it for 40-45 minutes, or until the custard has puffed about 2” from the edge but still slightly wobbly (not watery) in the middle. The pie should have a temperature of 180º.
  9. Remove the pie from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool. When it’s completely cool, if needed, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve, up to 1 day ahead of time.

Notes

  1. If you can't find, or won't buy Maple Sugar, you can substitute light brown sugar. But do note, unless you are using maple extract, the pie will taste less maple-y.
  2. See post for more information, including how to make decorative cut-out pie pieces.
  3. This recipe was updated in December 2020, adding the step of pre-cooking the custard, to ensure a more consistently smooth custard outcome. Without pre-cooking the filling, the custard can seperate into two layers (due to the acidity of the buttermilk) in the oven.
  4. Recipe inspired by one from Gourmet Magazine (April 2002)

Keywords: Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie