(makes one 9” pie)
For the Cornmeal Crust- (this makes enough for two 9” shells; wrap and freeze the second portion of dough for another time)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple sugar* or brown sugar
½ pound cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup ice cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
(*note: Maple syrup is not the same as maple sugar and should not be used in its place.)
Combine the ice cold water and apple cider vinegar in a Pyrex measuring cup; set in the freezer.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and maple or brown sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or two knives. Retrieve the cold water/vinegar from the freezer. Gradually add to the flour/butter mixture, tossing with a fork until the dough looks shaggy and just comes together. Divide the dough in half, shape into two discs, and wrap each disc in plastic. Refrigerate one disc for one hour before rolling out. (The second disc can be frozen for up to one month.) When chilled, roll the dough out on a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Roll the dough into a circle about 12” in diameter; ease it (without stretching) into a 9” pie plate. Trim the edges so you have a 1” overhang; turn the edges under so they are flush with the edge of the pie plate and crimp the edge decoratively. Place the pie shell in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chilled pie shell on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Line the pie shell with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil so that it fits snugly and extends over the edges of the dough. Fill the parchment or foil with beans or pie weights. Bake in the preheated 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet with the pie shell from the oven and carefully remove the parchment/foil and beans. Return the pie shell to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, just until golden and it is no longer raw on the bottom. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling and REDUCE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 325 degrees F.
For the Maple Buttermilk filling-
zest of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup maple syrup (pref. grade b)
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon bourbon
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, brown sugar, egg yolks and flour until you have a smooth mixture. Gradually add the maple syrup, whisking to combine, then gradually add the buttermilk, whisking until smooth, then the vanilla, salt, and bourbon. The custard fills the pie shell to the brim, so instead of splashing the filled pie across the kitchen, it might be easier to do this: Place the baking sheet with the cooled pie shell on the middle rack of the oven and pull the rack out slightly. Transfer the custard to a large Pyrex with a spout and carefully fill the pie shell. When the pie shell is full, carefully ease the oven rack back in place. Bake in the 325 degree F oven for 55-60 minutes, just until the filling is set. Set the pie on a rack to cool completely before slicing. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.