We all know the best part of Thanksgiving is the dessert, and while we love the classics, it’s time to bring some new contenders to the table this year. Enter: this decadent maple cream pie. It’s got a silky creamy filling akin to pumpkin pie, with a billowy topping of sweetened whipped cream to make it a true holiday showstopper.
Cream pies are an excellent choice for a foolproof, make-ahead pie, which is especially fitting during the holidays when stress levels are running high. This pie can be made up to three days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure to save the whipped cream until you’re ready to serve!
To start, a combination of vanilla wafers and gingersnaps are crumbled and combined with melted butter to make an easy press-in crust. Pro tip: make sure the crust has fully cooled before adding the filling. The filling is made with a mixture of sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, eggs and maple syrup, which gives it that distinct maple flavor. It’s reminiscent of a cheesecake, but in pie form. The filling is blended until smooth and poured into the golden cookie crust before getting baked until just-set.
Technique Tip: Make sure the filling ingredients are at room temperature before baking to ensure a smooth and even filling.
Swap Option: While nothing beats a homemade gingersnap cookie crust, use a pre-made graham cracker crust to save time.
- 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (from about 30 cookies)
- 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (from about 20 cookies)
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple sugar or powdered sugar
- Cinnamon for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.2.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and salt until the mixture resembles wet sand, then press into a 9-inch pie pan. Use a measuring cup to help the crumbs adhere evenly to the sides and bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature while you make the filling.3.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the sour cream, cream cheese and sugar together until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust.4.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling is fully set and puffed, but still maintains a little bit of wobble in the center. Cool completely on a rack for at least 1 hour — the pie will deflate as it cools.5.
While the pie cools, make the whipped cream. Pour the cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until the cream starts to thicken and soft peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar over the cream, then whip for 1 to 2 minutes more until thick and voluminous.6.
Generously top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, if desired. The pie can be made up to 3 days before serving. Bake and cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving, then top with whipped cream.