Guess who put on their baking hat over the holidays?

Thanks to long-time friend of So Good, The Bitten Word, I was inspired to make something that was right up my alley. Sweet? Yes! Pie? Yes! Maple? Heck yes!

Prior to last Thursday, I had been eyeing a recipe for a Maple Walnut Tart on the blog as a perfect end to the big Thanksgiving meal. Boy, did it deliver.

As usual, the toughest part was making the dough/crust. In my opinion, if you are making pies, and don’t make your own dough, you might as well hang up your apron. Store-bought crust is for wimps. True, it takes more time, and is not the easiest thing to do, but it pays dividends (see below pre-baked version).

The big difference between cooking and baking is that improvisation is good for the former, but a disaster for the latter. On this recipe I called a couple audibles.

I swapped out walnuts for pecans, and I made it a traditional pie rather than a tart. Both decisions were simply driven by what I had on hand. Sadly, I don’t have a 9-1/2 x1-inch fluted metal tart pan with a removable bottom. [Are you listening Santa?]

Despite the changes, the pie came out fantastic. I loved the combination of pecans and maple flavor (maple syrup + maple extract), and my guests agreed. (The crust was nice and crispy/buttery too.)

The only down side was that I didn’t have nearly as many leftovers as I had hoped. I am going to fix that this weekend.


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