Picture all the yummy goodness that goes into a traditional Canadian maple pie — maple syrup, buttery crust, pecans — all layered into an elegant parfait. In classic fashion, this scrumptious dessert is best topped with decadent crème fraiche or whipped cream.

Maple Pie Parfaits

Canadian Maple Pie Parfaits
Total Time: 180 minutes
Makes: 4 parfaits

Ingredients:

Maple Custard:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk, 3.8%
1/2 tsp maple extract

Buttery Pecan Pie Crust:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp whole roasted or toasted pecans
2 generous pinches salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1/2 tsp lemon juice, optional

Topping:
1 cup crème fraiche or whipped cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
8 tsp maple syrup

Maple Pie Parfait Custard

Directions:

1. Prepare Maple Custard by placing yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and evenly mixed. Set bottom of bowl on a kitchen towel to help secure to counter. Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Set over medium. Heat, stirring occasionally until steaming, about 5 minutes. Scrape bottom to avoid scalding. When milk is steaming, remove from heat. Slowly whisk half of milk into egg mixture, being careful not to scramble.
2. Slowly whisk egg-milk mixture back into remaining milk in saucepan. Set over medium. Heat, whisking frequently, being careful not to scramble until thickened and the first bubble pops, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.
3. Immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve back into bowl. Using bottom of a ladle, swirl and push through sieve. Scrape any custard from bottom of sieve. Whisk maple extract into custard until evenly mixed. Press a piece of plastic wrap over surface of custard. Cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. If making ahead, custard will keep well, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Maple Pie Parfait Crust
4. Meanwhile, prepare Buttery Pecan Pie Crust. Mix flour, sugar and pecans in a food processor until pecans are ground. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form. Mix until dough comes together. Add lemon juice, if needed. Scrape over a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and shape dough into a disc. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Roll chilled dough out on a generously floured surface until 1/4–inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out 4 leaf-shaped pieces, each about 2 inches wide. Carefully transfer to one side of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, transfer remaining dough to other side of baking sheet. Don’t worry about it’s rough shape or if it tears a little. The remaining baked piece will be mostly crumbled later anyway. Roughly cut this dough into 2-inch pieces. Chill in the fridge until firm.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F (160C).
7. Bake prepared dough in centre of preheated oven until lightly golden, 15 minutes. Remove to a rack. Let cool completely.
8. When ready to serve parfaits, layer ingredients in 4 parfait cups, each with a 1 cup capacity. Begin with 1/4 cup chilled Maple Custard topped with 2 Tbsp crème fraiche in each glass. Crumble 1 rough square cookie overtop. Sprinkle each with chopped pecans. Drizzle each with 1 tsp maple syrup. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Garnish each with leaf-shaped piece of crust.

Looking for more delicious Canadian treats ? Try our 10 Great Canadian Desserts.