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    Pumpkin Maple-Syrup Pecan Pie

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    Pumpkin Maple-Syrup Pecan Pie

    Serves: 6


    • 500g cubed, peeled pumpkin (or other squash)
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • Filling
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 250ml double cream
    • 100g soft brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    • 3 medium egg yolks, whisked
    • Pastry
    • 175g plain flour
    • 25g caster sugar
    • 125g cold butter, chopped
    • 1 egg yolk (save the white to paint the pastry)
    • 1-2 tablespoons cold water
    • To serve
    • Whipped cream
    • 150g maple syrup
    • 20 pecan or walnut halves


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Spread the pumpkin pieces in a lightly oiled roasting tin, cover with foil (shiny side down) and roast for about 30 minutes, until perfectly soft. Drop in a sieve, mash roughly and leave to drain and cool. The drier the flesh, the better - a pumpkin pie should never be watery, so make sure you've pressed out as much water from the flesh as possible (this is particularly important if you're using pumpkin).
    2. Meanwhile, make the pastry. Toss the flour with the sugar in a roomy bowl, rub in the butter with your fingertips (or mix in the processor) until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg yolk and enough cold water to give a softish dough-ball. Roll out and use to line a 23cm tart tin with a removable base - the sides should be at least 4cm deep. Mark the edge of the pastry with a fork, prick the base in a few places, paint with egg-white (to stop the filling softening the pastry), and set in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour. Then bake for 15-20 minutes so that the pastry sets and takes on a slightly golden colour.
    3. Meanwhile, finish making the filling. Push the pumpkin through the sieve - don't liquidise, as this makes the flesh too wet. Mix in the remaining filling ingredients. Spoon the filling into the pastry case.
    4. Turn down the oven to 160°C/gas 3, and bake the pie for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is perfectly set and lightly browned - check it after half an hour and pop a sheet of foil over the top if it looks like burning, which you will need to remove 10 minutes before the end. Leave to cool.
    5. To finish, bubble up the maple syrup in a small frying pan until it is reduced to half its volume - stop before it turns to toffee. Arrange the pecan or walnut halves over the pie and trickle with the maple syrup. Serve in small slices - it's very rich - with whipped cream if desired.

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