1. Set bottom of a bowl on a kitchen towel to help secure to counter. Prepare Maple Custard by placing yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and evenly mixed. 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 or a spatula, 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.
Buttery Pecan Pie Crust
1. 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 and water, if needed. Scrape over a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and shape dough into a disc. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. 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.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F (160C).
4. Bake prepared dough in centre of preheated oven until lightly golden, 15 minutes. Remove to a rack. Let cool completely.
1. 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.