as the daughter of a northern vermonter, my siblings and i grew up with maple as a staple sweet in my house. i vividly remember every spring as a child, we would get a large box delivered with two dozen jugs of vermont pure maple syrup sent from my cousins who were professional maple sugar makers in vermont; and those maple syrup jugs were made specially for gifting all of our teachers annually from preschool through high school. year after year, when the shipment arrived, i thought: "how boring that we gift maple syrup to my teachers? can't we give them something else more exciting?" to me, grade a fancy vermont maple syrup was something that was always found next to milk in our refrigerator.
it took a long time of developing my own food palate, and years of cooking, baking, preparing meals for my own family, and finding gifts for my own children's preschool teachers to recognize the special value behind the grade a (formerly called fancy grade) golden color/delicate taste maple syrup. it's no surprise that vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the u.s. with over 1.9 million gallons sold in 2017. maple syrup is a true delicacy; and in terms of health benefits, it is interesting to note that pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but every spoonful offers key nutrients including riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. i am now very proud of my heritage and my age-old relationship with the amazing vermont maple products and delicious maple-related cooking and baking recipes.
1 frozen 9-inch deep dish pie shell
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 cups pure maple syrup
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 1/4 cups whipping cream, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1. bake and cool pie crust according to package directions.
2. whisk milk, syrup and yolks in a large bowl to blend.
3. whisk flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
4. gradually whisk 1 cup milk mixture into flour mixture. gradually whisk in remaining milk mixture.
5. transfer to a large saucepan. whisk over medium heat until custard thickens and boils, about 8 minutes. whisk in 2 teaspoons vanilla. pour into a prepared pie crust. chill until cold, about 3 hours. (you can make up to this point a day ahead--just cover and keep chilled).
6. beat cream, sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl until peaks form. if you have an immersion blender or electric mixer, it is strongly recommended for use with this step. spread whipped cream over pie (and sprinkle with walnuts if desired).
7. place pie in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours; or overnight for a desired chill taste and texture. serve and enjoy!