A Thanksgiving Feast and Maple Custard Pie

I know it’s not yet Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t wait for popcorn and maple syrup.

What? Not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving?

It is for me. And for Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Remember Snoopy popping a kitchen-full on their Thanksgiving special?

Each year as Thanksgiving draws closer, I recall the annual Kindergarten/First Grade Thanksgiving Feast from my elementary school days. As kindergarteners, we created our construction paper headbands, complete with construction paper feathers, and our paper bag dresses to look like the Native Americans (though I think we were Indians back then). We would make the long treacherous journey across the hallway to join the first graders, who were dressed in their own construction paper hats as Pilgrims, for a bountiful feast – of popcorn and maple syrup. (I’m sure there was more to our feast, I just can’t remember the rest of it because I loved the popcorn and maple syrup so much.) And the next year as first graders, we took our turn dressing as Pilgrims and welcomed the new kindergarteners, dressed as Native Americans themselves.

I don’t know if the Native Americans and the Pilgrims actually shared popcorn and maple syrup at the first Thanksgiving. If they didn’t, they should have. It could have been their early version of caramel corn. With a dash of salt, that’s just what it tastes like.
This is my new favorite popcorn, Farmers Best out of Rockwell City, Iowa. It air-pops light and fluffy.

Thinking about maple syrup, I was prompted to try something new this week. I typically stick to fruit or cream pies; making a pie each week, I have plenty of room to expand my repertoire. Sometime I plan to make a maple cream pie, but while browsing through Ken Haedrich’s Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie, I came across a recipe for Maple Custard Pie. Other than pumpkin, I don’t think I’ve ever made a custard pie, so this was a great time to start.

This pie was definitely the easiest one I’ve ever made. It’s not the most eye-appealing, but it has a nice maple flavor. It did not bake up as high as I would have expected, and at first glance I was disappointed. But after I took a bite, it was just the right amount of custard. Since Ken recommends using a light amber maple syrup, and dark amber was the only kind I could find around here at three stores, I decided to add another touch of maple by whipping some cream with a little maple syrup to sweeten.

Whether you make pie or popcorn (though I don’t know why you wouldn’t try both), add some pure maple syrup to sweeten your Fall days.

Yours in pie,


Maple Custard Pie
Slightly adapted from Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie by Ken Haedrich.

Pastry for 9” single-crust pie


1 ¼ c. heavy or whipping cream

½ c. pure maple syrup (light amber preferred)

1/3 c. sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

4 large egg yolks

Partially prebake the crust: Line the pie plate with the pastry, then line with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, then remove foil and pie weights and cool on a wire rack.

Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk briefly until evenly mixed. Pour filling into cooled pie shell. Cover edges with foil. Place pie on center oven rack and bake until filling is nicely browned and set, 35 to 40 minutes total. About 25 minutes into baking, rotate pie 180 degrees. When done, the pie should be jiggly but not soupy in the middle. Cool pie thoroughly on a wire rack, then refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving. Serve with maple whipped cream, if desired.

For maple whipped cream, whip ¾ c. heavy cream with a wire whisk while slowly and gradually adding about 1 T. pure maple syrup, until just after soft peaks form. (I used ¾ c. cream because that’s what I had left after making the pie. You can use the amount you like and adjust the maple syrup as needed.)



  1. I remember our Thanksgiving Feast as well! I think we also had pumpkin pie...well, actually pumpkin custard (without the crust). Great memories!!

    1. I only remember the pumpkin pie squares the cooks served for our holiday meal in the cafeteria, but if we had it for our feast, I'm sure I liked it.....just not as much as the popcorn and maple syrup!

  2. They both look good to me. The pie sounds delicious!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Laurie! I think the pie tasted even better the second day. My kids liked it, which is always the test (they are 4 and 6).

      I think YOU should make more pies, too, and share them on your blog so I can get more recipes to try myself! :) Can't wait to try the chocolate chip pecan pie!

    2. Hi, Mindy!
      I am enjoying your blog so much. I also love all of your pie recipes and your stories that accompany each blog. Just had to tell you that we had pumpkin pie squares (made with a crust, filling and struesel topping in a 9x13 pan) for many years for our Thanksgiving Feast. But, I'm not exactly sure which year we started that. I just checked my scrapbook with all of my class composite pictures and found your class picture and Amy's the next year. It sure is fun looking back through all the pictures. Now you have me curious as to whether I have pictures of you or Amy in your Pilgrim hats. I will be looking for them and if I find any I will send them to you. So happy to hear about your Thanksgiving Feast memories!

    3. Hi "Mrs. DeBoer"! I don't know if I'll ever be able to call my teachers by their first names! I loved the Thanksgiving Feast every year and would love to see pics of us in our costumes if you do come across any -- I can share them on the blog. Thanks so much for your comment, it was so nice to hear from you!!!


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