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Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie




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My Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie recipe is a delicious tart filled with a rich pecan frangipane flavored with vanilla bean, bourbon, and maple. If you’re asked to bring a dessert this Thanksgiving, bring this one, it’s a new holiday tradition waiting to happen!

Maple frangipane pecan pie on a rusty baking sheet

This maple frangipane pecan pie is for you pecan pie lovers who want to mix it up a bit this season.

I love the flavor of pecan pie (who doesn’t?) but could never quite get into the ultra sweet gelatinous texture. So I gave my favorite frangipane filling a pecan twist, flavored it with vanilla bean and bourbon, and spread it into a flaky, buttery pie crust. Of course I topped the whole thing off with more pecans brushed with maple syrup.  I’m telling you the result is pure pecan loving heaven, that fluffy frangipane filling is lightyears ahead of the competition. It’s…seriously really good.

A piece of pecan pie with ice cream and fork

What is frangipane?

Frangipane is a traditional French pastry filling usually made with ground almonds. You might know it best as the irresistible filling inside almond croissants from the bakery. It also features in my White Peach Frangipane Galette, and my Ranier Cherry Almond Tart. The texture of frangipane is moist, soft, and a little chewy, and perfect as a filling for a tart or pastry. It’s dense and rich without being cloyingly sweet and heavy.

A few simple swaps resulted in an absolutely delicious pecan version of a frangipane filling that I’m LOVING as an alternative to the traditional corn-syrup based pecan pie.

Tart crust for frangipane pecan pie.

Since almond frangipane usually gets a nice boost of flavor from almond extract in addition to the nuts themselves, I added some vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract, too), a couple teaspoons of bourbon, and a generous (but not overwhelming) dash of salt to this version.

I toast my pecans before blending them into the pecan pie filling, which really brings out their natural nutty, caramel-y flavor. 

making a maple frangipane pecan pie

How to toast nuts

Toasting any kind of nut explodes their flavor and crunch, and it’s so easy, you can’t afford not to do it:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Lay out your nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. 
  • Roast for about 10-15 minutes, giving the nuts a shake or stir every 5 minutes.  
  • Let cool before using, they’ll crisp up as they cool.

Maple frangipane pecan pie before and after baking

The pecan halves that top the pie are left raw, because they get toasted as the pie bakes. The whole surface is brushed with maple syrup both before going in the oven, and again after it comes out. The syrup gives the top a really nice sweet glaze and glossy shine, plus added flavor.

Maple frangipane pecan pie on a baking sheet

I love this maple frangipane pecan tart served warm, and it’s just about perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. For perfectly neat slices, however, I recommend cooling the tart completely, even overnight.

This maple frangipane pecan pie is ideal for making ahead

  • Let the pie cool completely after baking.  Loosely cover with foil and keep on the counter for up to 12 hours. For longer storage, refrigerate.
  • The cooked pecan pie can be frozen, just let it cool completely, then wrap in plastic, then in foil, and freeze for up to a month.

maple frangipane pecan pie, sliced

Other holiday desserts to wow everybody

a slice of maple frangipane pecan pie with ice cream

A note about tart pans

Tart pans with removable bottoms are great to have in the kitchen.  I think they make a more elegant presentation than a regular pie, and tarts are a lot easier to slice and serve, too, thanks to the removable bottom.

I recommend a 9 or 10 inch size, like this one.

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4.8 from 5 votes

Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie

My Maple Frangipane Pecan Pie recipe is a delicious tart filled with a rich pecan frangipane flavored with vanilla bean, bourbon, and maple. If you're asked to bring a dessert this Thanksgiving, bring this one, it's a new holiday tradition waiting to happen!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
chilling 1 hour
Yield 12 slices

Equipment

  • 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom

Ingredients

For the pie crust (makes 2 crusts)

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the frangipane filling

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups ground toasted pecans, see note about making them below
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 70 or so pecan halves, for topping
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, for brushing

Instructions

To make the pie crust

  • Place the cold butter, flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food process and pulse until there are no large chunks of butter. Slowly add the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic, and place one in the fridge to chill for at least an hour or so. (Freeze the extra crust for later.)
  • Remove the chilled dough from the fridge, and roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have a roughly circular shape about 14 inches or so in diameter.
  • Lay the rolled out dough into a 10 inch tart pan with a removeable bottom, and gently press the dough into the pan, pinching off any extra that comes up over the sides of the pan. Place in the fridge to chill again while you make the pie filling.

To make the frangipane filling

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Cream the butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, or with electric beaters, for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, and continue to mix until combined.
  • Mix in the vanilla, bourbon, and salt.
  • Add the toasted pecan meal and the flour, and blend until everything is evenly incorporated. If you are using an electric mixer, I like to give everything one last mix by hand with a spoon or a spatula to make sure all the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl have been evenly combined.
  • Spread the filling into the chilled tart crust. Top with the pecan halves, and brush the surface of the tart lightly with maple syrup.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, tenting loosely with aluminum foil towards the end of baking if it seems like it is browning too much. I covered mine with foil for the last 10 minutes or so. The tart should be puffed up, a rich brown color, and not wobbly in the middle at all.
  • Once out of the oven, allow to cool slightly and then brush again with maple syrup. Serve warm or allow to cool overnight for easier slicing.

Notes

To make toasted ground pecans, spread out raw pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes.  Let the nuts cool, then grind in a food processor until finely ground.  
For this recipe use 2 heaping cups of raw nuts and then measure out your nut meal for the recipe, once the nuts are ground.

maple frangipane pecan pie pin

 

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6 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    December 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    This recipe look absolutely incredible! Forgive me, but if I wanted to use only pecans in the filling and add a different topping, would that just be wrong? I was thinking either caramelized rice krispies, caramelized graham crackers, or maybe just slivered almond instead?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm

      You sound like an inventive cook Stephanie, and I would say go with your instincts. I’ve never tried to caramelize rice krispies or graham crackers, you’ve got me intrigued!

  • Reply
    Toni
    November 27, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Sue! Had a problem today with the pecan frangipane pie which looks to be a high altitude issue. The filling bubbled out of my 12” tart pan and the pie collapsed. I followed the recipe exactly. (We all say that, but I did!) It looks like a disaster but tastes delicious!! Welcome your recommendations on how to adapt the recipe to my kitchen at 6200 ft. Thanks so much. Love your blog which I read everyday!! Happy Holidays, T

  • Reply
    Mary
    November 9, 2019 at 12:15 am

    5 stars
    What a lovely pie. I would love to make this for a special occasion. ?

  • Reply
    Lisa Lukinovich
    November 8, 2019 at 5:22 am

    This is such a beautiful pie. Would make an excellent addition to the Thanksgiving table.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 8, 2019 at 5:59 am

      Thanks Lisa, we’re over the moon about it, the pecan frangipane is a real discovery :)