Everyday we learn new things. Nothing is frivolous. Today I learn something about maple syrup and the differences between pies and tarts. I learn maple syrup is graded according to the Canada, United States, or Vermont scales based on its density and translucency.
I have always buy pure maple syrup for pancakes but have never known its grading and colour. There are also not much choices to buy here. The most popular brand is Macdonald's maple syrup which is labelled as 100% Pure Grade A, dark amber. Pure maple syrup is not cheap and once you have tried pure maple syrup on waffles and pancakes, you will never go for the flavoured ones.
The maple syrup which I am using for this Maple Nut Pie was bought from Australia. I was looking for its grade but couldn't find any. It is simply labelled as original Canadian maple syrup. I suspect the syrup is adulterated with corn syrup though it is very dark with a rich maple flavour. This is a typical Grade B which is used primarily for cooking and baking.
Is there a difference between a pie and a tart? Yes, there is. They are like close cousins with distinct differences.
A pie is a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. According to thekitchn.com, the sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped. It can have just a bottom, a top or both a bottom and a top crust. Pies are served straight from the dish in which were baked.
A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom rust. Tart crusts are usually made from pastry dough traditionally flour, unsalted butter, cold water, and sometimes sugar. Tarts are baked in a pan with a removable bottom, or in pastry ring on top of a baking sheet so that it be unmolded before serving.
Well, my Maple Nut Pie obviously has the tart look. I used a removable base tart tin, and I hope it is acceptable in Bake Along. I do not have a pie dish but I followed the recipe closely. I adapted the recipe from Lena of Frozen Wing, I thought her Maple Nut Pie looks fantastic. I just love her rustic looking pie.
Maple Nut Pie
Williams Sonoma Baking Book
half of the original recipe, makes two 12cm pie
200gm plain flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
63 cold butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp ice water
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse 5-6 times until the mixture of texture of coarse meal with butter pieces are larger than small peas.
- Add 3 tbsps of water, pulsing once after each addition and adding just enough to make crumbly dough, it will not hold together on its own but when gathered into ball with your hands. Add more water if necessary, 1 tbsp at at time.( I mixed the dough by hand)
- Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface, roll into a ball and flatten into a disk with a few gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn and roll out. Continue to turn and roll out to a wider circumference than your pan.
- Transfer the dough to the pie dish or tin, trim the edge of the dough round, leaving about 2 cm overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and pinch it together to create a high edge decoratively and freeze the pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Lay a foil paper and put in some pie weights or raw rice and partially bake the pie shell on a preheated oven at 190C for about 20 minutes. Remove the beans and further bake for another 10 minutes until the shell is pale gold.
- Remove from oven. While the shell is baking, can proceed to make the filling.
Filling (for one 12cm tart tin)
1 cup maple syrup (half cup)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (1 small egg)
pinch of salt
1 tsp unsalted butter,melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
90gm pecans, coarsely chopped ( top pie with nuts, 50gms)
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil and boil for about 4-5 minutes to reduce by about one fourth. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof bowl or measuring pitcher. The syrup should reduced to about 3/4 cup(1/4) or a little less. If necessary, return to boil until the syrup is sufficiently reduced. Let cool down for a while before proceeding.
- In a bowl, stir together the eggs, sugar, reduced maple syrup, salt, melted butter and vanilla until well mixed. Add the pecans and stir well. Pour into the partially baked pie shell, making sure the pecans are evenly distributed.(I top the shell with pecans instead). Bake the pie until the center is slightly puffed and firm to touch, about 30 to 40 minutes (25minutes). Remove and let cool on the wiring rack.
This pie should really be eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is perfect accompaniment to pecans and maple syrup.
This post is linked to Bake Along 69 hosted by Joyce, Zoe and Lena.
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.