Brown Butter Maple Chess Pie

Brown Butter Maple Chess Pie

Hello again! I am finally back after a not-by-choice 3 month hiatus. My 8+ year old laptop started having some issues the end of December, which the techs thought were resolvable. Turns out, it was going to cost just as much to fix it as it would be to get a new computer. THANK THE LORD they were able to backup all my data before the computer went totally bonkers. So, to make a long story short, here I am, on a new computer with all my data. It only took three months to figure out. This day in age, that’s a long time to go without a computer. Somehow I survived. Ha.

Brown Butter Maple Chess Pie

So, you would think since I had three months “off” from blogging that I would have all sorts of recipes to share with you. I don’t. It was an extremely busy time where little to none new cooking happened. But! All hope isn’t lost. I am back on my game and I have several recipes to try out on my to-do list that I am incredibly excited about. A little baking, a little cooking. And, we’re just in time because my birthday is at the end of this month and I already have an idea for my cake that I am pretty darn excited about.

So, on to this pie. I was originally going to share this on Pi(e) day (3.14), but I didn’t get around to it. I know that a lot of people affiliate maple as a Fall flavor. But, if you think about it, maple syrup season is in the Spring. Like right now. So, I think it’s spot on. And let me tell you, this pie is all about the maple flavor. This is more of a custard pie, but not the jiggly sort of custard you would think. It’s firm enough that you can pick up a piece of pie and eat it with your hands instead of a fork. Despite all the maple syrup in the pie, it’s not overly sweet. The combination of browned butter and maple syrup brings out the best in both. The crust is perfectly flaky, but hearty enough to not get soggy, even after the pie sits in the fridge for days. I think the pie is perfect with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, but whipped cream on the side would also be wonderful. Go hit up a local sugar house and breathe in the wonderful sweet humidity of cooking sap. And don’t forget to bring home a jug or two!

Brown Butter Maple Chess Pie

Brown Butter Maple Chess Pie

Yield: 8 servings

For the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

  • 3-4 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 Tablespoons yellow cornmeal

  • confectioners’ sugar and whipped cream for serving (optional)


In a food processor, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in butter and pulse mixture until it resembles wet sand. With the machine running, pour in 3 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until the dough comes together, forming a ball along the side of the food processor. If the dough is crumbly, add in an additional tablespoon of ice water. Remove dough from food processor and place on a floured surface. Roll dough into a ball, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease a standard sized pie pan with butter. Set aside.

Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Swirl the pan occasionally, until the milk solids from the butter separate and become a golden brown color. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove pie dough disk from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to a 1/4 inch thick round. Carefully place dough into pie pan, pushing into the pan. Crimp the edges or leave ragged, trimming any excess. Place a piece of parchment paper over the pie dough and fill with baking beads or dried beans/rice. Place in the oven and blind bake for 10 minutes.

While the pie crust bakes, make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter, maple syrup, sugar, eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well combined, then add in cornmeal. Whisk well so no cornmeal clumps remain. Pour filling into partially baked crust and place in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the center of the pie is set and is a light golden brown color. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. Allow the pie to cool completely to make sure the filling has set, before topping with a dust of powdered sugar. Serve as is, or with softly whipped cream.

Source: Broma Bakery