1 1/2 - 2 cups shelled pecan halves
3 large eggs
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp flour
1/3 cup real maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust (see Flaky All Butter Pie Crust)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork, then fill with pie weights or line the pie with parchment paper and fill with old beans to weight it down. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a pale golden color. Remove from the heat and make the filling.
Turn oven up to 375 degrees F. While it heats, toast pecans in a dry pan over medium high heat until fragrant, stirring occasionally. (If you prefer more custard use the smaller amount of pecans. If you like more nuts, please use the higher amount.) Allow the nuts to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk the eggs together until they are foamy. Add salt, flour, maple syrup, sugar, and butter. Slowly warm this mixture in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch; do not boil. Stir in the vanilla extract and all of the toasted pecans.
Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. covered with parchment or aluminum foil. Pour filling mixture into the still hot crust and bake 30-40 minutes, until the mixture shakes like gelatin, but is still moist.
Tip: If your crust or top of your pie is getting too browned before the filling sets, loosely cover it with aluminum foil or try putting a baking sheet on the rack above your pie while it bakes.
Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream sweetened with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup. Can be made ahead. Serves 6.