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Quebec tarte au sucre (sugar pie)

An authentic Canadian treat that will leave no one disappointed. 



For the pastry:

  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons pecan powder, or 1/4 cup
  • Whole pecans ground in a food processor
  • 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (see note on page 6)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the topping:

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole pecans


  1. To make the pastry, cream the butter and icing sugar for two to three minutes, until perfectly smooth. Add the egg and mix well, then add the pecan powder. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt, then add to the butter mixture in three additions, each time mixing until barely combined. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to slightly less than six millimiter thickness, and transfer to a 23 centimeter pie dish. Blind bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool.
  3. For the filling, first whisk all the yolks and whole eggs together in a medium bowl. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the maple syrup with the brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. When boiling, ladle some of the sugar mixture into the eggs and whisk quickly to temper, then transfer the egg mixture back into the big pot, whisking constantly until thick, about five minutes. Strain through a sieve into a container and let cool (uncovered) in the refrigerator.
  4. For the topping, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the maple syrup in a pot over low to medium heat, then add the pecans. Stirring constantly, let them cook until the sugar has caramelized and the nuts look sandy, about two to three minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and let cool.
  5. When everything has cooled, pour the sugar custard into the pie crust and let set in the refrigerator for an hour. Garnish the top with the maple pecans and enjoy in small slices—it’s lush!

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