nutmeg-maple cream pie Recipes

nutmeg-maple cream pie

Before I can tell you about this recipe, I need to ask you a few leetle questions. It will only detain you a minute or two, I promise, but it essential that we get some facts out in the open before we can proceed. I wouldn’t want to lead you astray.

Do you love maple syrup?

maple syrup

Do you flood your pancakes/waffles/French toast with so much maple syrup that you at times question whether they are simply a vehicle for your favorite sweetener, and have nothing to do with breakfast at all?

Do you wonder why, oh why, more desserts are not sweetened with this cozy ingredient, instead of granulated sugar, which is really so boring in comparison?

maple syrup, reducing

Have you tried to swap maple syrup for sugar in a dessert in the past, such as Pumpkin Pie, only to end up sorely disappointed that the maple flavor wasn’t pronounced at all?

Come, sit down next to me. [Hat tip.] Pull up a chair, let’s brew a strong espresso and stay for a while, because I have the dessert that you–and by you I mean we–have been searching for our whole lives.

nutmeg

There is no greater homage to the goodness of maple syrup than this Nutmeg Maple Pie (though I used a tart pan, because I am a rebel) from the New York Times archives. Yes, I worried that the nutmeg would distract us from the main event, too, yet it folded so eloquently into the final flavor, I entirely forgot it was there. I just knew there was something unrecognizably better. This tart is spectacular. It is breakfast, it is a late afternoon coffee break, it is calming, centering dessert after an elaborate dinner. It is that Thing, that recipe you’ve been searching for to bring to Thanksgiving this year, something so fall flavored, people won’t realize they’re breaking with tradition to eat it, but so innovative, you’ll get a break from the predictable.

nutmeg-maple cream pie

It is one of the best dessert surprises I’ve had in a good long while. And now, I’m off to bake the extra custard (because I had to be a rebel with the tart shell, which holds less) into a new crust. I can’t wait.

nutmeg-maple cream pie

One year ago: Orangettes

Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie
Adapted from the New York Times

3/4 cup maple syrup
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie crust or tart shell.

1. Par-bake pie crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pie refrigerated pie shell with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until beginning to set. Remove foil with weights and bake 15 to 18 minutes longer or until golden. If shell puffs during baking, press it down with back of spoon. Cool on wire rack. Lower temperature to 300 degrees.

2. Prepare filling: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce maple syrup by a quarter, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and egg. Whisking constantly, slowly add cream mixture to eggs. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup or bowl with pouring spout. Stir in salt, nutmeg and vanilla.

4. Pour filling into crust and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pie is firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

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185 comments on nutmeg-maple cream pie

  1. anita

    This has nothing to do with the lovely pie you just posted – but about the fideos. I’ve adapted the basic concept to whatever is sitting in my cupboard and it does wonders for poor grad students everywhere as wine from trader joes, spaghetti, onions, garlic and cheese are always around.

    :)

    also – i made the cranberry scone recipe you posted for a department tea time and it was a huge hit!

    just wanted to say thank you.

  2. Bev

    the nutmeg photo is lovely!
    I always wish that maple syrup was more easily available here, and that it didn’t cost an absolute fortune to buy.
    Your recipes always have such fab pictures that I always leave here feeling hungry. yum x

  3. Amy

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving (didn’t I comment about that here recently? or was that somewhere else?) and it is absolutely one of my favorite pies ever. I have to get to the farm for some cream before Wednesday’s baking extravaganza!

  4. OH.MY.GOSH. That looks so good. I was just thinking of how to incorporate maple into Thanksgiving this year. My last attempt (not bad, not great) was to add maple syrup to whipped cream as a topping to Pecan Pie. I like this better.

  5. Jelena

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Not yet.

    I love maple syrup! And nutmeg, this seems fabulous!

    I have a question about the vodka pie crust recipe, would it be disgusting to use a flavoured vodka? Like vanilla or something to add to the flavour of the pie?

  6. …And I think I’ve found the dessert I’ll make for Thanksgiving this year.

    A few questions: did you use Grade A or Grade B maple syrup? Should I use a slightly smaller amount if I’m using Grade B, since it has a stronger flavor?

    And I know I shouldn’t even be asking this, but I’m a grad student on a budget (and I don’t have the time to drive all the way out to Penzey’s): is pre-grated nutmeg okay? I mean, obviously it won’t be as good as the fresh stuff, but do you think it will render the whole thing mediocre?

  7. deb

    Amy — You might have. Someone said in the comments (I am too lazy to look it up, admittedly) that I should try this on the very day I did. I love such synchrony. This recipe is one for the ages.

    Jelena — I really hope this doesn’t sound impolite, but I think vanilla-flavored vodka might be kind of ick. Maybe it’s just my personal taste but… it’s just, well, they use very strong artificial flavors in the vodka, and those wouldn’t bake out. I think it would trample over the really good flavors in there–namely butter. However, if you’d like to flavor the crust, a splash of vanilla extract (swapped for the same amount of vodka) or even a small scraping of fresh vanilla bean could be wonderful.

    Elise — I used Grade A, because that’s what I had in the fridge. I’m pretty laissez-faire about this stuff and wouldn’t be concerned about a stronger flavor. That said, I don’t actually think there could be a such thing as too strong of a maple flavor, so I am indeed biased.

  8. Kary

    I meet all your criteria. I love, love, love maple syrup and it is readily available here in the northwoods. But I have one question for you. I love maple syrup but don’t like things that are overly (sickly) sweet. Will I like this tart?

  9. Jenn

    Deb – I stumbled across your website recently and have been a regular visitor ever since. You never fail to make my mouth water. I’ve been looking for a new pie/tart recipe to try out for Thanksgiving and I think this one will definitely fit the bill. One question though – how the heck did you get it out of the tart pan in one piece?

  10. joanne

    Oh man, another dessert I must try. I guess there will be three desserts at the table this Thursday. I have to make a traditional pumpkin pie for the kid, then my favorite paradise pumpkin pie, which is a two layer pumpkin and cheesecake pie. And now this one. It’s a good thing I’m sharing pies or I’d really be in trouble.

  11. deb

    Kary — I don’t think this tart is overly-sweet. It’s definitely a dessert, but not tooth aching or anything. Hope that helps.

    Jenn — I only use removable-bottom tart pans, so the finished dish pops right out. I honestly don’t know what people do with the other ones.

    Christina — But of course!

  12. in the meantime…what? …hey,wha’ hoppen?

    There I was, telling you about finding your blog …using your recipe for Ratatouille, finding it easier than the original, but that it was still a bit of work with the slicing etc…and it disappeared when I posted…hmmm… oh, well..

    Thanks for a fun blog to read…yummy recipes and helpful info any cook can use..

  13. *Raises hand* Yes! I adore maple syrup and always keep a bottle in my fridge along with a nutmeg for grating. Now I just wish I had a fluted pie pan as pretty as yours (mine are flat-rimmed, culled from garage sales and family attics). Then, and only then, could I make something so gorgeous. (Though I reckon flat or fluted, the flavor is just the same.) Thanks for the Thanksgiving dessert inspiration!

  14. Amy

    Elise, I used grade b syrup (I buy it by the gallon from my friends’ farm) and pre-grated nutmeg. I can’t imagine how it could get any better, but I’ll use fresh nutmeg this year anyway, just because I have it.

    Deb, that was me that suggested it! Great minds think alike. ;)

  15. Bubbles

    Oooh. And here I was already thinking of doing the cranberry tart you posted a little bit back for Thanksgiving. This looks and sounds amazing, but I’m not a huge maple syrup person. Perhaps this will convert me?

  16. Celia

    So for those of us slightly slow on the uptake- the pie recipe you posted makes two tart shells? And the filling filled two tart pans? is this correct? I have been DYING to use my new tart pan. Just trying to figure out if i will have extra of either crust or filling or if I try to do this recipe as a tart x 2. thanks!

    Celia

  17. Thank you! I am the “pie-girl” in our family, and I’ve been struggling to think of something interesting to make this year for the holidays. This is the perfect homage to a much beloved local product! (I’m from New Hampshire where the maple syrup flows like water!)

  18. I adore maple syrup. In SPain it´s an expensive delicacy, and not that easy to find, but I can´t be without. Just had a huge bowl of oatmeal porridge sweetened with it, after reading your post, very inspiring it´s been.

  19. CEN

    I made this last year too and it will be a welcome repeat this year. It’s a perfectly balanced pie– not “too” anything; just right. Except for the amount of filling. It isn’t that your tart pan is too small; this recipe makes too much filling for a 9″ standard pie pan as well. Not that I’m complaining– in little custard cups, baked in a water bath, the leftover hardly goes to waste. However this year, I’m going to try a 10 1/2″-11″ tart pan (not hard to find if you don’t have one). That should hold it all. And usually a good crust recipe for a 9″ standard pie will be enough for that size tart with maybe a little dough left over to stamp our a few maple leaf “cookies” for decorating the top. And if I’m wrong, well, those little custards are awfully good….

  20. Carrie

    I would love to bring this on our Thanksgiving trip. Can anyone who has made this tell me if this is would travel well? I am concerned about the custard. We’ll be driving 3-4 hours. Maybe I should wait and try it for Christmas?

  21. deb

    Celia — There isn’t enough for a whole extra shell (and a 9-inch tart shell holds less than a 9.5-inch pie dish) but there is a little extra, as CEN below attests, which can be baked in ramekins or in even a smaller shell or two.

    CEN — Good to know there is too much filling. I never got to baking the extra custard but might try to tonight… water bath–great idea!

    Carrie — I think it should travel just fine. If you’re worried about warm, a cooler or just a couple of those blue bricks underneath it should be fine. The tart is surprisingly firm for a custard, not really wiggly and cuts cleanly, so the bumps in the road shouldn’t be a huge issue.

  22. Dancer who eats

    I love using different sweeteners….. YUM! So many underrated flavors to use. I gotta be honest, I don’t know when I’ll get to this one. The good news is that I just subscribed to your blog so I could keep the recipes I intent to make in my inbox. That and the fact that I just got nutmeg and love to use my microplane. I love simple recipes that are freakishly good. This looks like a contender! OOOOO, I know this is a day too late but I am getting a pastry blender. So excited…cause, you know, I need more kitchen gadgets….. *sigh* Hopefully, the hubby won’t notice that I keep accumulating kitchen stuff…..

  23. MeganNJ

    I’ve made 2 Grapefruit Cake already & get nothing but oooo’s & aaaahhh’s! I love what you’re doing here, keep up the good work.

  24. This looks absolutely perfect for the close of a heavy meal – and it’s that cup of espresso that really caught my attention -a nice rich coffee to pair with the delicate maple flavor, nothing to overwhelming or creamy… and I think the thin tart probably is a better vehicle than a deep pie- but I think I’ll keep the crust recipe the same and just make two, since they’ll go fast!

  25. OMG, I am going to try this Today! I LOVE maple syrup. I normally use it to make a mean pecan pie, but this sounds so much better. I have everything I need to make it. I’ll report back later with how it came out.
    Thank you so much!

  26. Kary

    Thanks for your feedback on the sweetness. With that, this will be on our thanksgiving table. (Also, it’s very helpful to hear from those who have made this already.)

  27. deb: this is perfect. Sounds like the fall-holiday twist on summer’s lemon or key lime tart… thanks: pulling up a chair with you is always worth it.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  28. This looks amazing. I too am always in search of bigger maple flavor in my maple desserts, and don’t even get me started on fresh-grated nutmeg… *swoon*. I’ll definitely be trying this soon; might even just sneak it in for Thanksgiving!

  29. Tea

    Oh wow, I was really touched and impressed by this post. I’d love to sit next you and have a bit of that goodness. And YES, I love maple syrup. Lately I have been using lots of honey, but I might switch to maple syrup as a change. I will be definitely making this. Soon. Very soon.

  30. Jennifer in NYC

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I would lwould love to try this with a shortbread crust, do you think this filling would pair well with that kind of crust?

  31. lana

    I had extra filling because I used a 9″ tart pan instead of a 9.5″, so I chilled it in the freezer for a bit and then poured it over pumpkin ice cream. YUM.

  32. I tried this, and I’m pretty sure I did something wrong. Mine is not nearly as pretty and perfect as yours (sigh). The crust turned out though! I wonder if the pan was supposed to have been baked in a water bath? I didn’t have a flan pan so I used my quiche pan, which is about 12″ across, about an inch deep. I baked it for an hour, as per the recipe, but it came out not quite baked enough, not very high, and brownish on the top. The flavor was nice and my kitchen smelled wonderful, but it was just a bit too undercooked to be perfect. I had a hard time waiting though, so we had some while it was still warm. Could this be the issue? I’ll try it again sometime… after all, I have more crust in the freezer!

  33. deb

    Jennifer in NYC — Not sure exactly which shortbread crust you have in mind, but I certainly don’t think it will taste bad. Shortbread has a lot in common with pie dough, anyhow, minus the cutting in the butter to get flakiness. Neither have an egg or yolk, and my crust without it did just fine. Good luck!

    Akay — I have not practiced egg replacements, so I can’t give you much advice. However, my instinct tells me that it might be difficult as the custard is structured by the egg and yolks–that’s what makes it firm in the oven. Without it, you’d need a new stabilizer…

    Shelly — Mine didn’t require a water bath (thank goodness, as I am lazy). Mine was done in an hour, however, perhaps another 15 would have done the trick for you. We’re ANY parts of yours that were set? (If the edges were but not the center, may have needed more baking time. If none was, I’m thinking it was an oven or ingredient issue.)

  34. LyB

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! I live in Québec so I can get maple syrup pretty much any time and I use it in like, everything! Have you tried it in coffee instead of sugar? Such a treat. Thanks for posting this recipe, again, I can’t wait to make it.

  35. Hi Deb. Thanks for the answer. With the pie (I also filled 2 little ramekins), the very outer edge, next to the crust was ok, but the middle seemed a like pudding, same with the ramekins. Now, because I live in Australia, I’m thinking that all the metric conversions messed me up. It took forever to figure out how much butter to use for the crust, I finally ended up stuffing it into a tablespoon measure, it was quite a mess. Then even that didn’t turn out light and fluffy like yours appeared. I wonder if I need to increase the heat and cover it with foil next time. Sheesh I wish I had paid attention in math class when they were teaching the metric system!

  36. dan

    definitely making this tart for thursday. any ideas on a fruit-based sorbet or maybe a sauce to drizzle along the side? i definitely don’t want to take too much attention away from the maple falvor, but maybe add a little freshness to cut the ruch custard. maybe cranberry or pear?

  37. Thanksgiving! This completely explains why the shelves were stripped of maple syrup at the supermarket.

    A beautiful–and mouth-watering–pie. I especially like the addition of nutmeg.

  38. I really love your writing and the photos. Not sure I could be tempted to make this particular pie though as I am not a maple syrup lover. But, I have enjoyed some of the other recipes on your site. Thanks! Happy thanksgiving!

  39. Kvv

    Hi Deb,
    Each year from October to December, every department in the nonprofit that I work at chooses a charity project they will donate to. My department is raising money for grinding machines for widows in Nigeria, so they can start small businesses.

    All that to say, for the bake sale yesterday (Tuesday), I make the nutmeg maple cream pie. It was a fabulous hit! Several people came to me afterward, asking for the recipe. So, of course, I directed them to your site.

    The pie had a great, smooth, creamy texture that was sweet enough, but not too sweet for my Dutch husband. :) Thanks so much! And we raised $192 for the Nigerian widows.

  40. Shawn

    Sorry to post two comments, but after perusing the rest of your site I have this thought: Would bourbon not go well in this one also?

  41. So, mine doesn’t look nearly this good. Since I have another pie already made and I only committed to bringing one dessert I think maybe tonight we will dive into this. It probably tastes just fine…

  42. Martha

    This tart looks awesome! I just made a maple pumpkin pie that is yum, but different:-)

    Shelly, I always struggle with the butter conversion too–I’m American living abroad and all the butter is packaged in grams, and the sticks are different sizes than in the US. Plus, you can’t just do a regular conversion, something about the density. Anyhow, here is an awesome link http://www.onlineconversion.com/cooking_butter.htm Happy Thanksgiving!

  43. Yesenia

    UGH! I don’t have a pie plate….thought I’d be clever do it in a square pan, like I have for key lime pie (w/ cookie crust)…but the reason you NEVER SEE PIE CRUST LIKE THIS IS BECAUSE IT FLOATS. This is what I get for baking at 6AM. Its in the oven, I’m crossing my fingers. I did use a palm oil shortening that claims to be The Answer and the pie crust cookies I made with the leftover crust were fabulous…esp the ones I dusted with vanilla sugar.

    dan — garnish with fresh blueberries? or maybe a lemon blueberry sorbet? is that too breakfast-y? tart fall apples would be good too.

  44. So, I made this last night, and I definitely screwed it up. I used the CI pie crust recipe (although I only had a little bit of shortening so I used mostly butter) and an 11″ tart pan (since the thought of having such an intense, homogenous filling in something as deep as a pie was unappealing) and… my crust collapsed during the prebaking. When I took out the pie weights I noticed that the sides were already starting to shrink down, and then when I took the finished crust out of the oven I discovered that a big section of the side had sort of melted down into a heap. I tried to patch it up with some dough scraps but the sides were still so short that it could only hold about a half-inch of filling.

    The filling was good, but since it was so shallow the ratio of crust to filling was way off. I think I should stick to premade pie crusts, because it’s the one thing I always manage to screw up.

  45. Cheryl

    I’m not much of a baker because (gasp) I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I make probably one or two cakes a year and my husband loves oatmeal cookies, so I make those. I love to cook, though, and always put together the whole Thanksgiving spread, but end up buying pies or having other people bring them. This year, this recipe inspired me to make my VERY FIRST PIE (or in this case, first tart) … which meant that I also made my VERY FIRST PIE CRUST. I used my Kitchen Aid (poor thing, doesn’t get too much use) and I have to say that while this was probably the most time-consuming thing I’ve ever made due to my need to read and then reread to ensure I followed the steps correctly … IT WAS DIVINE and AMAZING and DECADENT. I am so very proud of my first tart/pie!!! Thanks so much for all the wonderful photos and detailed directions – they helped me enormously!

  46. CEN

    Just a follow-up and a short cut. An 11″ tart pan does not hold all the filling either, and it doesn’t leave enough to make the little “bonus” custards one can get if using a 9-9 1/2″ pie/tart pan. It does make elegantly “slim” tart slices if one wants something a little lighter (and needs a couple more slices than a 9″ pie might give). To the cook whose pre-baked pie shell collapsed: I never have any luck with pre-baking (shell filled with beans even!) unless the crust is frozen (at least 20 minutes to days) prior to baking. Works every time that way. The short cut: I found myself with only 1/2c of maple syrup in the house on Thanksgiving morning. So I skipped the reduction step, just combining the 1/2c syrup with the cream for the simmer. I detected no loss of maple flavor or change in texture.

  47. Kristin

    I made this for after Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit with my family. It may come to replace the pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving next year too!

  48. LC

    I just made this last weekend for dessert when a friend came over for dinner. It’s absolutely, unbelievably, incredibly, fantastically, amazing. I absolutely love this recipe. The fact that it tastes like you slaved all day over it but didn’t doesn’t hurt either. The filling would make an amazing ice cream. Hmmm… since it’s essentially a custard I wonder if it couldn’t be turned in to a an ice cream recipe.

  49. Abbey

    I’ve had this pie bookmarked for like a year, and have been drooling to try it… I’ve decided to finally make it this week for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait! However, I was wondering – do you think a graham cracker crumb crust would work instead of the traditional pie dough? I never seem to be able to get pie crusts right, and I’m kind of lazy too (haha) and can always get crumb crusts to be perfect in 5 minutes flat. What do you think? Anybody else try this?

  50. Erin

    Hi Deb! Could the Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie be made two days ahead? I’m trying to schedule all of my Thanksgiving prep-work and will be traveling on Wednesday. I was hoping to make this Tuesday night for Thursday night’s dinner. Will this work? Will this need to be refrigerated because of the custard?

  51. deb

    I haven’t made it that far in advance before, so can’t say for sure, but see no reason why it wouldn’t keep. It definitely needs to be refrigerated because it is a custard. The only concern I’d have is that the bottom of the tart might get soggy. You will have the best luck using the Great Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Shell, which keeps way more crisp than a pie dough for days and doesn’t require any pie weights–hooray.

  52. Oh yum! My first effort just cooled off enough to taste test. Baked for an hour and ten minutes, but probably could have used another ten minutes as its very very moist (almost but not quite soggy.) Disclaimer: used a store bought crust.

    This one goes in to work tomorrow morning, and I’ll be baking the turkey day one on Thursday.
    But still, simply divine, although not as pretty as yours, and definitely a new favorite.

  53. Julia

    This was a delicious addition to Thanksgiving for a nutmeg, custard, and maple-loving family! I plan to make it again for Christmas. I used grade B syrup, fresh grated nutmeg, and the CI vodka crust. It was browner in appearance than the pictures, rather caramelized in appearance, which was actually perfect for Thanksgiving. I preferred it cold rather than room temperature, so I suggest people roll the crust thin so it will cook through very thoroughly and won’t be doughy after refrigeration. The next time I make it, I will watch it more closely, because the bottom crust flaked into layers while cooking and made a steam bubble between two layers. As a result, when the pie cooled and the steam escaped, one area sank low. If I had watched it more closely, maybe I could have hit the bubble with a skewer before the custard set around it.

  54. Beth

    I made this for a party last weekend (in a tart pan) and it was a smashing hit. I wish I’d gotten more than a tiny sliver. I can honestly say that it was the only dessert that didn’t have a crumb left.

    Thanks for this recipe. I’m printing it out to give my mom to use.

  55. Elisheva

    Just made this two days ago in a small (7″) tart pan with your/Dorie Greenspan’s sweet tart shell – it was delightful. I have plenty of the custard left over, so I baked some last night as a custard (water bath and all, my first time trying that) and while it was still good, I found it a little monotonous after the first two bites. I think the rest will be baked as mini-tarts and handed out.
    (note: I used 500 ml/2 cups of cream rather than 2 1/4 so as not to bother opening a second container and it came out just fine.)

  56. Emily

    Do you really need to parbake the pie/tart crust? because i’ve made quiche before, and never parbaked the crust and it came out fine.

    also, doesn’t the crust get really brown if it bakes for an hour and a half?

  57. deb

    Parbaking is a … personal choice. The idea is to avoid a soggy crust. If a softer bottom crust doesn’t bother you, then by all means skip the extra work. It should not overbrown in the time it is in the oven.

  58. After at least a year of dreaming of this pie, I finally had an opportunity to make it – for my office’s annual Pi/e Day competition! Of course we actually celebrated Pi/e Day (observed) since 3.14 fell over a weekend – but it was a giant hit. I made the full deal and baked it for 70 minutes – the top got a little toasty, but it didn’t seem set after an hour. I’ll definitely be making it again, and probably in my sweet little tart pans that I never seem to have an excuse to use.

  59. Valen

    Love your website, and have had many great results but this recipe was a bit of a disappointment. Your shrinkable crust shrank, and was very very oily! when I took my first excited bite I realized it tasted like something extremely familiar…FRENCH TOAST! Something I am extremely fond of, but if its French toast I love, I rather make the simple version! (and less caloric). Nonetheless, I absolutely love your website and recipes, I felt it was important to give you honest feedback. And also, CONGRADULATIONS on your baby! he is absolutely adorable!

  60. Lee

    Deb, I have mad love for your site. This tart has my name written all over it and I am making it for Thanksgiving this year. Is there enough custard in this recipe to fill an 11″ tart shell? I thought I would make the cusard the night before thanksgiving, cover and chill and cook it in the prebaked tart shell the next day. Will this work?

  61. Veggiesaurus

    “Do you love maple syrup?” Oh yes! As soon as I read the title I was intrigued. And reading through the maple syrup questions, I knew this was the recipe for me. It took me a while to find the time/occasion to make this, but finally Thanksgiving presented me with an appropriate event to experiment on my relatives. It was a huge success! Everyone loved it. I followed the directions exactly (with the exception of the crust, which I purchased). The directions were really simple to follow and the pie turned out perfectly. The overall consistency was a little like a custard. The flavor was delicious. I topped with some blueberries and enjoyed bites with and without them. My only complaint was that I think a lot of my freshly ground nutmeg ended up in the bottom portion of the filling which did not completely fit into the pie shell, so I think I lost some of the nutmeg taste. Maybe next time I can sprinkle some of the grated nutmeg over the filling once it is in the pie shell. Overall the nutmeg-maple cream pie was a delicious success and I definitely intend to make it again.

  62. Honeychan

    THIS SOUNDS PERFECT!

    I am one of those addicted to maple syrup, and wish I could taste it in everything!

    I’m a midnight baker, and plan on making it late late tonite. I can hardly wait.

  63. I was so excited about this pie! But silly me, I mixed the warm cream into the eggs and they scrambled. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen (?) I chronicled the disaster in my blog.

  64. Dancer who eats

    So two years later (2007 to 2009) I get my act together and make this. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it. Mine came out a little bit darker and I was afraid it was burnt but it was perfect. My husband was annoyed cause I made this one week then a sweet potato pie the next week. He had to keep telling people at the two parties that the pies weren’t pumpkin pie.

    Sigh. I am not really into pumpkin pie, I would rather make the pumpkin bread pudding you posted about. :D Thanks again!

  65. kaitlyn

    I don’t quite understand the rimmed baking sheet step — do I take the crust out of its tin, and put the filled pie on the sheet? Also, how do you water bath bake the leftovers? This is perfect for sharing the pie with my beau, since he won’t be around for the real deal.

  66. Rachel

    Oh, I have been intrigued by this for months! I am gluten/dairy/egg/soy/blahblahblah free and so I tried to adapt this recipe. Well…. it was tasty, but oh so ugly, and a strange texture. There is one slice missing from the pie downstairs, and its the one I took. Better luck next time, maybe!

  67. Lauren

    Hello, Deb. Thanks for such an inspiring blog- have been enjoying catching up with it as I found it only recently.

    Here’s my question: do you have ANY idea why this tart might taste like bacon? I made it for Christmas; when I checked to see if it was set 3/4 of the way through the baking time, I opened the oven and was hit with a distinct “bacon” smell. Hm… strange, I thought. I could also smell this when it came out of the oven. First bite: bacon. Strange… but kept it to myself until my husband said, “This is going to sound strange, but does anyone get a bacon flavor in the tart?”

    We were eating the tart at room temp on the day it was cooked.

    Here are some things we ruled out: had not recently cooked bacon in oven; had not used any utensils, pans, bowl, etc. that had recently had contact with bacon; butter was purchased just days before and did not smell like bacon…

    I used recently purchased Grade B maple syrup (tried on a spoon- delicious, but no essence of bacon!) and used freshly ground Penzeys brand nutmeg.

    It’s a mystery… the next day I had a slice straight out of the fridge and the bacon flavor was practically nonexistent, but 30 minutes out it is noticeable.

    My family speculated that perhaps there are aromatics produced that mimic bacon when maple and nutmeg (and the fat in the cream and eggs) are combined.

    What do you think? Any chance you had this problem?

    I’d like to make this again as I love maple and nutmeg, but am a bit reticent as maple syrup is quite expensive.

    Many thanks, Lauren

  68. Made this for a Winter Olympics party. AWESOME!! The perfect amount of maple-y sweetness. Your site has always had the perfect dish for whatever taste I am craving. Thanks!! p.s. Made your Challah as well. My FIRST success at bread baking! I am addicted.

  69. I definitely did something wrong. I tried to make this pie using a store-bought crust since I’m awful with pastry dough. I par-baked the shell and then filled it and the pie just wouldn’t set. I kept it in the oven for an hour and a HALF (!) and it still came out soggy and kind of jiggly.

    I’m sure I messed something up because it looks like others had success with this recipe. The ingredients list is so simple; I have no idea what I could have possibly done wrong. I want to try it again but the thought of throwing away all that delicious maple syrup again makes me hesitant.

  70. I stumbled across this recipe this weekend and it was just what I was looking for. Mine baked up perfectly in a 9″ glass pie dish (not deep dish), with no leftover custard. I wonder if how much you reduce the syrup makes a difference? I prebaked the crust and, after adding the custard, covered the edges with a pie crust shield. SO good. Photos on my blog.

  71. Erica

    Finally made this yesterday after eyeing it for about a year and while the flavor was supreme, the texture didn’t seem quite right to me. I’m pretty sure I accidentally baked it 25 degrees above what is was supposed to be (I’m in between oven thermometers right now) and it just seemed a little eggy, almost like quiche, while I was hoping it’d be smoother, more like key lime pie or pastry cream. Do you think the higher oven temperature would have caused this?

    I haven’t given up hope, though, I’m considering trying to cook it over a double boiler like a pastry cream instead. Do you have any recommendations/suggestions/illuminations? Thanks again for your lovely site and for all the hard work you put into it! I appreciate it immensely.

  72. Melanie

    Is it okay to substitute the fresh nutmeg with powdered? I have had trouble finding fresh, and I’m anxious to get cooking. This recipe looks amazing!

  73. Morgan

    Must try this… And since I live spitting-distance from the town that boasts the world’s largest single day maple syrup fest (Elmira, Canada), I have no excuse not to make it.

  74. Susan

    Three words: wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Shared this pie with family and cappuccinos yesterday with great results. Thanks for the deliciousness.

  75. delicous

    simple and so silky beautiful and elegant! taste/texture is cross between creme brulee, flan and clafoutis. i’ve been bragging about it all day and i have no doubt that it will live up to the sky-high expectations i’m building!

  76. Katie W

    I just made this for Thanksgiving dinner (which we’re celebrating a night early this year), and I’m eating a piece right now. It is everything you promised and more. So good, and so easy! I spilled a bunch of the filling when (over)filling the crust, and I got a baby spoon out and ate it off the counter. My husband was looking at me like I was pathetic until he tried it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  77. Nicole

    Oh, I was really hoping that I would just love this, but I’m afraid I don’t! I love maple, but all I taste is nutmeg. I’m using pre-grated, too, so I can’t imagine how it would be with fresh stuff. You definitely used the whole teaspoon? I think I’d cut it back to no more than a 1/4 teaspoon – it completely overwhelmed the maple flavor for me. Ah, well – next time.

  78. Meagan C

    I just put mine in the oven and have almost 1/2 cup of filling left over and I only used 2 cups cream because it is sold in 2 cup containers (didn’t want to spend the extra $2 just for 1/4 cup). I think it may have to do with how much you reduce the syrup. I didn’t let mine bubble like in your picture even though it was on medium heat for 5 minutes. I can’t wait to try it though and hopefully it sets okay.

  79. Meagan C

    Wow! Everyone at Christmas was impressed with this pie. It came out perfect. I did bake it for an extra 10 minutes just to be sure it would set. I didn’t think the nutmeg was overwhelming at all. All the flavors seemed to go very well together! I think this will become a new Christmas tradition.

  80. Katieliz

    Great use of Trader Joe’s grade B maple syrup and fresh nutmeg! Made this for New Year’s Day, and it was dee-licious. I found it a little difficult to figure out when the syrup was reduced by 1/4, but just let it go for the time indicated (it did bubble a lot). The filling fit perfectly. I stretched the 2-cup container of cream with 1/4 cup lowfat milk. Will definitely make again!

  81. My sister, who has celiac, makes this in an almond-meal crust, and it’s basically become our family religion at this point. Between 3 sisters and our mom, we’ve probably made dozens of them. You can just watch people’s eyes glaze over at the first bite…. ;)

  82. Suzy

    Wow, this tart looks incredible! I wanted to respond to Lauren from back in December of 09; older nutmeg nuts can have a strong flavor resemblance to bacon! My daughter made me oatmeal, found a lonely lost nutmeg nut hiding in the corner of the cupboard, grated some in the oatmeal, and viola! bacon oatmeal!

  83. Same question as Audrey: has anyone had any luck freezing this? We’re doing the pies-instead-of-cake thing at our wedding in October and this is one of my all-time favorites, so I’d love to have it. But would less love making it too close to the frenzy!

  84. Boo, just kidding. Not sure what I was thinging with the egg custard here. Not a great candidate for freezing unless I want it separated and liquidy. Maybe I’ll be able to convince someone else to do it day of, like someone convinced you to make them a wedding cake, Deb!

  85. Natasha & Emilia

    Wow, Deb! Excellent recipe!! Much easier than we expected, it’s in the oven at this very moment! With the extra custard we decidd to chill it and enjoy it later as a frozen custard delight!!! We will comment our verdict on the baked pie once we have tasted it!

  86. Natasha & Emilia

    And the verdict is… SUCCULENT! 4 thumbs up, Deb!!! We wanted an easy pie and delicious pie, but its so hard sometimes to have your “pie” and eat it too!! We just have enjoyed this whole experience, looking forward to trying out more of your recipes :)

  87. My first attempt at this is cooking away right now! My entire house smells like nutmeg and maple syrup. I have two roommates drooling over the oven door as I type this…

    I can’t wait to share this with a cup of coffee & some good friends! Thanks for another awesome recipe.

  88. Rachel

    Hi…..I’m dying to try this for a party I am planning. My question is will it freeze and for how long can I keep it in the freezer for??? Thanks!

  89. Paula

    This pie just won a bake-off at my office and spurred requests for a second pie from all my coworkers who didn’t get to it quickly enough to score a slice! I am definitely making this a Thanksgiving favorite. Next time I make it, I’m going to attempt serving it with whipped cream infused with St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram. I had to special order it from the liquor store, but I think it will be worth the effort.

  90. Rachel

    Just a note for my vegan/egg-allergic homies out there – I was not successful in replacing eggs and dairy in this tart. I am not vegan, so I tried using a combination of ener-g egg replacer and gelatin in place of the eggs. I also used MimicCreme instead of the cream. Taste was off and texture was weird. Now that I am using dairy again I might give it another shot with real cream and see what happen, but maple syrup is soooo expensive!

  91. Danica

    I had been thinking about making the recipe for a long time, and finally made it this year for Thanksgiving. I used Grade B maple syrup, which I think made it turn out a little darker. The taste was good (clearly got the nutmeg and maple flavors) but too sweet for my preferences. Not sure exactly how to adjust for that without messing up the consistency, but might try using a bit less maple syrup and replacing with a tad more cream (?).

  92. symphonic chef

    I made this for thanksgiving and it was a success, but a little sweet and french-toasty for my taste. I was hoping for a more pronounced nutmeg flavor as well. I used the great unshrinkable tart crust, and that has a fair bit of sugar in it, so next time I might use pie crust and up the ground nutmeg a bit.

  93. symphonic chef

    Also, because the flavors are pretty subtle, I think this dessert would be enjoyed best with a coffee or after a more simple meal than thanksgiving, where it got a little lost alongside the other desserts on the plate…

  94. amn

    Deborah Madison has a nutmeg pie in her vegetarian cookbook that is AWESOME – we served with brunch and I sent people home with copies of the recipe it was that good. I wonder how this holds up to it…

  95. Kate

    I tried this last night. Amazing! But the tart fell as it cooled. I assume that might have something to do with eggs and their stabilization of the filling… Any ideas?

  96. Jay

    This is really delicious but man, between this, the New York cheesecake, and the pumpkin pie (all from this site), I’m super annoyed at how much longer I have to bake a custardy ANYTHING than you do for the middle to set.

  97. Hilary

    Made this on Friday night for my boyfriend’s family who hail from Vermont and consider themselves experts on all things maple-flavored. They loved it! I switched out your crust for one that I made with crumbled gingersnaps and butter and cocoa nibs. I also used maple syrup that his family buys right from the source up there. The dessert was a huge hit all around and I will absolutely be making this for them again soon. Thanks for helping me impress them!

  98. Tiffiny

    I tried the CI crust twice. Once in a glass 9.5 inch and then a metal 9 inch. Both times my crust fell in on itself while prebaking. And i used pie weights. Not sure how to correct this. This was my first pie crust. Any suggestions? I really don’t want to give up!

  99. Tiffiny

    I decided to try and salvage the second crust since it wasn’t as bad as the first one. Since it fell so much i was only able to use about half the filling. After 25 mins or so i had to take it out because the crust was so brown along the edges. The filling also collapsed in one spot and wasn’t nice and even all over like yours. Super sadness here.

  100. Marie

    La classe! This Québécois family says yay to this recipe! We changed the maple syrup to 1 cup then reduced to 3/4 cup. And my Mamere served it with a brûlé top, or with extra nutmeg sprinkled on top. Ah, ma bouche! Thank you for this recipe! More Québécois recipes, please!

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  102. Shayne

    I have made this monthly for my husband, it is his favorite. I brulee the top for a little something extra. Thanks for the recipe

  103. Hmmm… What happened? Mine is not nearly the beautiful yellow color yours is (grade B maple syrup? I questioned if I put in the right number of egg yolks, but I had plenty of filling so I don’t think I miscounted on my way to four…) and the texture was not nearly what I think it should’ve been… Hmmmmph…

    I need a second opinion, but I am hoping it is pleasing to others since I put a good 3/4 cup of gorgeous Vermont maple syrup into this thing!

    Also, the accidental overflow of filling made for some pretty crust. I’ll post it on my blog. :)

    Thanks, as always.

  104. CollDoll

    Made this today for Thanksgiving (Canadian). We aren’t eating it til Monday, but I had leftover filling so cooked it in a couple of ramekins. It tastes delicious but the texture looks mildly curdled. You can’t really notice it as far as mouth-feel goes, just visually. Any ideas? Btw, when I was looking in the oven near the end of baking time, the custard was bubbling wildly. Is that normal?

  105. Susan

    Deb – what’s your go to removable bottom tart pan? I’m looking to buy a good, reliable one. Also, does the temperature of the eggs matter?

    1. deb

      Susan — I don’t have one; mine is pretty junky from a restaurant supply store but it works just fine. I’m not sure if Williams-Sonoma makes one in their gold touch line, but if they did and you wanted to pay a little more, I’ve been very happy with their baking pans (good weight, nothing sticks, cleans up like new).

  106. TaylorMay

    Made this last night for a dinner party. Changed only the crust as I can’t eat gluten (subbed a crumb-type crust using almond meal). Everyone loved it an said it was delicious. I did end up cooking it a bit longer than the recipe said an I made I in a tart pan, so it wasn’t even all of the cream mixture in there. In any case I’d just watch I closely adjust for your oven if necessary. Recipe was worth the effort and syrup!

  107. LJ

    Made this pie for Thanksgiving today…it was a hit! Mine also turned out darker than the photo, but was tender and delicious. This will definitely be part of my pie inventory. There was some leftover filling that wouldn’t fit in the tin and my boyfriend and I drank it like eggnog! Would be good with a little whiskey perhaps?

  108. Francesca

    I made this today, and it was delicious. I made the “pie crust 102”, prepared the pan, and then wrapped it in aluminum foil and froze it overnight. The next day I prepared the filling while the shell was baking (make sure your pie pan can go from freezer to oven if it’s not metal). The shell came out very nice, and the filling is to die for. I took the eggs out of the counter earlier, so that I wouldn’t have to pour hot cream mixture into cold eggs. Everything went smoothly: the color, the texture, and the flavor, oh the flavor. Do not skimp on the nutmeg, and if you don’t have whole nutmeg to grate at least make sure you are using fresh spices. This is a keeper. It’s sweet, but flavorful and absolutely not cloying.

  109. Kris

    I’ve tried this pie twice now and both times it got great reviews from everyone! The first time I baked it at 300 and it took well over an hour to become set enough to take out; the second time I did it at 325 and it was perfectly set at 50 min. Probably mostly to do with my super-old oven which is probably not calibrated properly though. I also used two different maple syrups – the first time a much darker and thicker one that I buy directly from a producer, the second time regular grocery store B grade which is lighter in colour and texture. The first time the tart was much darker than the photos here and the second time it’s much closer to these photos, so I think the darkness of the syrup makes a big difference. However the darker ones always taste stronger and more complex…so it’s a trade off!

  110. Made this for a birthday today and it was perfect! I used half and half and it came out fine (only mentioning because I looked in the comments to see if anyone else had done it and didn’t see). I did make a small mini pie to test and the day I made it tasted overwhelmingly nutmeggy and I was afraid to serve it, but didn’t have time to remake the pie. But after a night in the fridge, it tasted perfect today. Neither overwhelmingly nutmeggy or mapley, just right. I’m not sure why the nutmeg flavor was so overpowering in the first few tastes!

  111. Margie

    I am also concerned about it being a little curdled. I decided to sneak a bite before serving today and it did seem a little curdled. I used room temp eggs and let the cream cool just a bit before ever so slowly adding to the eggs. Should I have skipped letting it cool? I am a novice custard cook. I also had to cook well over an hour for the first pie. I turned my oven up to 325 for the second and it cooked much faster.

  112. Francesca

    Made it again using the ‘unshrinkable’ pie shell that sunk miserably. Not sure what happened… (i followed the instructions, am a sorta veteran baker, but this isn’t my usual oven and that may have had something to do with it) but I will stick with the other pie shell from now on.

  113. Sarah

    Hi Deb (or any other experienced baker who might like to answer),

    This feels like a silly question to me, but when making this, should I follow the blind-baking directions from the “Great Unshrinkable Sweet Tart Shell” recipe or those in this recipe?

    Thank you.

  114. Diana

    Hi! Everything I have ever made from smitten kitchen is amazing, first, so thank you for being awesome. :) next- question: would tempering the eggs be enough to avoid having to sieve the custard? What are the advantages of sieving instead?

    Mine are still in the oven, and this is what I did since I didn’t have a fine mesh sieve on hand… and now I have 45 minutes to stare at the oven and wonder if I screwed them up. :D the unbreakable sweet tart shells are robin though, gnuh. I had to forcibly remind myself not to devour them once baked! Thanks again!

  115. deb

    First, thank you! Sieving the custard wasn’t about tempering, but about removing any lumps that often form even when experts make custard. Can you skip it? Definitely, it’s more about getting a perfectly silky texture. Hope it was a hit.

  116. Yet Another Anna

    Deb,

    Watching the Great British Baking show recently, I was inspired to hunt down a recipe for custard tarts. The recipe they have online (that was apparently used by the contestants, at least in some form) seems to be problematic, so I’ve been hunting around for something else more reliable to try.

    I should have known you’d already come through with this recipe from years ago.
    Sorry I didn’t hunt here first!

    I think I’ll try them as tarts, since something this sinful really does seem to need a bit of built in portion control.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  117. tina

    I made this pie last year for “friendsgiving” and everyone went CRAZY for it. I’ve been thinking about it all year and will make it again this year, if not for Thanksgiving then for Christmas. Such a unique and tasty addition to the table.

  118. Jenny S.

    Hi. I am desperate to make his pie because we love maple syrup-flavored desserts, however we are not huge nutmeg fans. Is it possible to substitute something else, like ginger, or is it possible to leave it out (or reduce the amount)? If I include it, will the nutmeg be very obvious to a group of people who are nutmeg-adverse?

  119. Ioana

    I just discovered this recipe and it makes me exceedingly happy! As you published this exactly eight years ago when I was three days away from giving birth to my soon to be EIGHT YEAR OLD (gasp), and he loves maple syrup (especially that Deep Mountain Grade B from the USQ farmer’s market, yum) as much as his mama, and I have a tart pan that has weathered my marriage without ever being put to use, it is high time that I make my boy a birthday nutmeg-maple cream pie for his birthday breakfast. Here’s to it becoming our new tradition!

  120. susan

    this looks amazing! one question..does the custard bake up relatively firm? I have recently discovered pure maple sugar and have been using in place of sugar where I want to impart maple flavor (whip cream!)..it is pricey but I could see putting it a top this dessert and caramelizing the top creme brûlée style..

  121. Karina

    I haven’t read through all the many comments, so someone might have already mentioned this, but at Costco a jug of pure maple syrup is almost the same cost, ounce for ounce, as Mrs. Butterworths, which is unfathomable to me…how can they charge $4.79 for 16 ounces of corn syrup??? I pay about $13 for 32 ounces of Costco maple syrup and it lasts forever.

  122. Okidome

    Oh yes!
    Thanks for a fabulous blog. Always inspirational and always my go to for recipes.
    I have been looking for the perfect way to use my HUGE bottle of maple syrup that our dear friends lugged all the way back from Canada for us and it looks like this is the one!
    2007? Wow. It is definitely time to give this a try.

  123. Shannon

    I wish I had seen the gingerbread pie crust recipe! I had to make this gluten free for a work thing, so I made a gluten free gingersnap crust (which works pretty well, usually, because I am way too lazy to buy all the stuff for gluten free baking). But it was 9pm already and I didn’t let the crust cool before adding the custard, which caused a bunch of the crust from the middle to dislodge and float in the custard.

    Thankfully, I made it for the office Diwali/thanksgiving potluck, and engineers will eat almost anything. It sure *smells* good. Just not my prettiest pie ever.

  124. Karina

    I just popped this pie in the oven…I had about 1/4 cup of filling left, so I sprinkled the remains of the nutmeg over it and chugged it like eggnog!! Dreamy doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’d make this easy custard base for a mixed drink, any day, although maybe reduce the syrup so it isn’t quite so sweet.

    For my gluten free buddies, I always use Glutino brand crust mix. The crusts are extremely tasty, almost as good as a wheat pastry crust, and not too terrible to work with…getting the right consistency of dough is tricky (it wants to be dry) and then rolling it out between parchment is awkward but it does work, with a little fussing around the edges once you get the crust in the pan.

  125. Staci

    Just have to say that this pie has become more valued by my family than any other pie, including pumpkin. I’ve made it several years now and I can’t show up without it.

  126. Abbey

    I have made this pie every single year since you first posted it. It’s my Thanksgiving tradition! I usually make a graham cracker crust because I suck at pie crust and I’m lazy, plus they’re my favorite. :-) This year I’m stepping it up a notch and made a crust using Speculoos (i.e., the spice cookies they make cookie butter from).

  127. J. Elle

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was the only dessert that was completely eaten up. I would definitely consider this a sleeper dessert: it’s surprisingly good given the overall beige appearance. I will be making this again.

  128. janna

    I made this for Thanksgiving this year, too, and it was great! I’ll definitely make this again at Christmastime! Also – I made mini-pumpkin cheesecakes with Speculoos crusts, and I think this would be fantastic in that crust!

  129. Sonia

    Sorry..Don’t want to over comment but still looking for some help on whyyy as soon as I added the cream to the reduced maple syrup it instantly curdled. The eggs we nowhere near it though! I ended up tossing it, but it smelled so lovely! I also made maybe the best crust of my life with ALL BUTTER thanks to Smitten Kitchen <3

  130. Rebecca

    This is my go-to pie when I want to make something both unusual and impressive. Everyone loves it! Also, I now live in Morocco and was all set to make it when I realized I was low on maple syrup, and as it is Ramadan all the grocery stores that would import American food products were closed. I ended up substituting honey for about two thirds of the maple syrup and it was delightful! It came out tasting a bit more like maple flan, but still good. Rave reviews all around. :)

  131. Heey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
    kno a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m nott ssure wwhy butt I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different inteenet browsers andd both show the same results.