Regular or gluten-free, it’s a delicious and easy dessert!
I’m a sucker for anything that combines sweet and salty so this pie is right up my alley, earning bonus points for also offering a delightful contrast of crunchy and smooth textures. I often hear that it’s challenging to make gluten-free pastry, but not when your pie crust is made with pretzels instead of flour! When making the pretzel crumbs, I recommend putting them in a sturdy bag and crushing with a rolling pin; you can use a food processor if you prefer but take care not to turn them into pretzel dust as you want some small pieces (1/4 to 1/2 inch or .6 to 1.25 cm) in amongst the crumbs to give the crust its crunchy texture. This same crust would be delightful with many different kinds of pie filling but the maple flavour of this version is really outstanding.
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) regular or gluten-free pretzel crumbs (I used 3 cups of small pretzel twists to make this volume of crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) melted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cornstarch or potato starch
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy (35%) cream
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) maple syrup
- Preheat the oven 375F. Lightly butter a 9 inch (22.5 cm) pie plate and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzel crumbs, sugar and melted butter until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened and everything is well blended.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie plate and press across the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Don’t worry if there are a few small holes here and there.
- Bake the crust for 8 – 10 minutes, until it’s slightly golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
- Combine the cornstarch and flour in a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg and whisk until blended, then add the cream and whisk again until cornstarch and flour are completely dissolved. Finally, add the maple syrup and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour into the prepared crust. Don’t worry if a few pieces of pretzel come loose from the crust and mingle with the filling.
- Bake at 375F for 35 – 40 minutes or until the filling has set (jiggle the pie plate to test). Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours (or in the refrigerator for 45 minutes) before serving, with or without whipped cream.