Whoa baby. This Maple Pumpkin Pie, complete with a scratch-made Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust and Maple Whipped Cream to boot, is the pinnacle of pumpkin pies. This takes that lackluster pumpkin pie with the dry pastry crust you have at every holiday meal and knocks it into last year. After one bite of this baby, you’ll forget everything you knew about pumpkin pie and realize this is the pie you’ve been searching for all your life. It’s what pumpkin pie is supposed to taste like.
The crust is made with the same recipe I use for my Brown Sugar Graham Crackers, only instead of baking them into individual crackers, I baked it into one sublime crust. I also used rich, nutty brown butter for a serious flavor lift. Frankly, the crust is so delicious you don’t even need pie to fill it. But that creamy, thick, and sweetly spiced filling is darn good too, so there ain’t no way I’m passing on that, no matter how good the crust is.
My little secret is that this traditional pumpkin pie filling with its well-known flavors and textures is actually no-bake; you just pour it into your baked crust and let it set up in the fridge. You get all the deliciousness of a baked pumpkin pie without all the hassle. Plus, I think this filling is just a tad tastier. It has the perfect amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard, plus decadent maple flavor laced throughout.
All the flavors from the pumpkin, spices, and maple melt together in a close-your-eyes-and-moan kind of harmony. The only thing that could possibly make it better is a bulbous dollop of fresh Maple Whipped Cream, aka one of the best things I’ve whipped up in my kitchen to date. Homemade whipped cream is good any day, but add that sweet, buttery maple and you get the most divine, creamy, fluffy whipped cream you’ll ever taste.
This is pie perfection, my friends.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- If making the crust from scratch is intimidating, use a traditional graham cracker crust recipe but replace the regular butter with brown butter.
- Brown butter is commonly misjudged as being difficult to make. All you do is dump butter in a pan and let it turn golden brown. That’s about as easy as it gets!
- Whipped cream has a similar misconception. Just pour cream in a bowl and beat the heck out of it until it gets thick and forms stiff peaks. That’s so easy, my dog could do it.
- The no-bake filling needs a few hours to set up in the fridge, so plan ahead.
- Maple not your thing? Leave it out.
- This Maple Whipped Cream is one of my most delicious creations EVER. Don’t stop at this pie; put it on ANY kind of pie, ice cream, brownies, fruit, cake, or better yet pancakes!
- You want your cream as cold as possible for whipping. It’s also a good idea to chill the bowl beforehand.
- NOTE: I know gelatin is not vegetarian, so no need for smarty-pants comments telling me like I’m not aware.
Maple Pumpkin Pie w/ Homemade Brown Butter Graham Cracker Crust & Maple Whipped Cream
For the Crust
- Heaping 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups graham flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) + 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
For the Filling
Adapted from Kraft
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. maple extract
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 envelope KNOX Unflavored Gelatine
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
For the Maple Whipped Cream
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. maple extract
- Place 1 cup of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, reserving the remaining 3 tablespoons. Melt and let cook, whisking frequently, until brown specks form in bottom of pan. Butter will foam at top and smell nutty as it browns. Take it off the heat as soon as you see brown specks and continue whisking for a minute or two until it cools slightly. Stick in fridge to cool completely.
- Whisk both flours, the baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown butter, remaining 3 tbsp. of butter, brown sugar and honey on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary). With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat just until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 days).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before proceeding.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the chilled dough, and place in center of an 8-inch pie plate. Flatten out with your hands so it’s 1/4-inch thick, and no thicker, covering the entire plate & edges of plate in an even layer. You will likely have extra dough. Remove it and set aside to do with as you wish (see how to bake it into crackers here). Bonus: you can eat as much dough as you want; it’s egg-free!
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown around edges and set in the middle. If edges brown prematurely, wrap foil around them. Let cool completely.
- Mix condensed milk, maple extract, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg with wire whisk until well blended; set aside.
- Sprinkle gelatine over water in medium saucepan; let stand 1 minute. Cook on low heat 2 minutes or until gelatine is completely dissolved, stirring constantly. Add milk mixture; stir until well blended. Continue cooking 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin and spoon into cooled crust. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and extract on high until stiff peaks form. Make sure it is thick, not runny. But take care not to overbeat, or you’ll have butter. Taste test to decide if you’d like more sugar and add accordingly.
- Slice set-up pie and serve with generous dollops of whipped cream. Pie will keep in fridge for up to 5 days; whipped cream will last for 2 days.