This recipe (which despite its title calls for maple sugar, not syrup) produces a very intense and tasty little pie. The unusual touch of black pepper provides a quite wonderful accent and makes perfect sense given this recipe’s origin up in the logging country of northeastern Maine, the land of sweet and peppery pit-baked beans. If you don’t have maple sugar on hand, substitute a half-cup each of maple syrup and evaporated cane juice. You may also vary the recipe if you like by omitting the top crust and/or adding a cup of walnuts or pecans.

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soft butter
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup whole milk or cream
  • pastry for a two-crust 8-inch pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the butter and sugar until well blended. Work in the flour and pepper. Beat in the egg, then the milk or cream.

Line an 8-inch pie pan with pastry. Pour in the filling, and top with the lid. Crimp the edges and poke some holes or make slashes as you like to vent the lid.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling a bit in center. Cool thoroughly on rack.

Actually better made a day ahead if you have patience.

Serve in thinnish slices.


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