1/2teaspoon (1 gram)ground cinnamon*or Pumpkin Pie Spice (see notes)
1/4teaspoon (1 gram)ground ginger
Prepare the Pie Shell *see posts on best method for baking this pie*
If your oven has a lower heating element: move one of your oven racks to the very last (bottom) notch. Place the second rack in the middle section of your oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).If your oven doesn't have a lower heating element: position the oven rack so it's in the center of the oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
Roll out the pie dough to a 12-inch circle lay it into your pie tin. Flute the edges of the dough and refrigerate the prepared pie shell while you measure out and begin your Maple Pecan Pie Filling.
Mix the Maple Pecan Pie Filling
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip together the eggs, brown sugar, and melted butter on low speed using an electric hand mixer. After 30 seconds, increase the mixing speed to medium-high and whip the mixture together for 1 1/2-2 minutes or until the mixture resembles caramel and is thick and foamy. Scrape down the bowl and better halfway through this mixing time.
Add the pecans, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon to the bowl. Blend these into the egg and sugar mixture for 30 seconds on low speed.
Remove the pie shell from the fridge.Once the nuts are mixed into the sugar mixture, use a rubber spatula to scrape the pecan pie filling into the chilled pie shell. Set this aside while you mix the Sweet Potato Pie Filling.
Prepare the Sweet Potato Pie Filling
In the same bowl you mixed the Maple Pecan Filling in, whip the egg at high speed for 30 seconds.After 30 seconds, stop the mixer and add the brown sugar, butter, and flour to the egg. Whip these together at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater using a rubber spatula. Add the sweet potato puree, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves (or pumpkin pie spice) to the egg and sugar mixture. Blend the sweet potato puree and flavorings into the egg mixture at low speed for another 1 1/2 minutes.
Finish Assembling the Pie and Bake
Use the rubber spatula or a wide spoon to gently lay the sweet potato pie filling on the maple pecan filling. Start from the outer rim and, going around the perimeter of the pecan pie filling, lay the sweet potato filling onto the pecan filling working towards the center.
Once all of the sweet potato filling is on top of the pecan filling, use your spatula (or the back of the spoon) to smooth the top to an even layer.
If you have the lower heating element: slide the pie onto the lower rack and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, work as quickly as you can, and transfer the pie to the middle of the oven to finish baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
If you don't have a lower heating element: bake the pie on the middle rack for 15 minutes.After 15 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Don't move the pie or open the door. Bake for an additional 45 minutes to an hour.
If, after 30 minutes of baking, the pie crust looks too dark, carefully lay a piece of aluminum foil lightly over the top of the pie to keep the crust from browning too much. Check the pie after 45 minutes for a slightly jiggly center. If the very center jiggles slightly, remove it from the oven and allow the residual heat to finish baking the custard as it cools.
Cool the pie for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight.Serve this Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Pie chilled or at room temperature within 2-3 days of baking.
Tips and Tricks:
Chill the pie shell while measuring out the ingredients for this recipe or overnight because it firms the butter in the dough up reducing the likelihood of a weeping, soggy pie crust. Wait until just before you start mixing the pecan pie filling or until just after you've mixed in the pecans to remove the pie shell from the fridge.
Custard pies usually take 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake, depending on the calibration of your oven. After 45 minutes of baking, when you check the color, give the pan a little jiggle. If there's only a little jiggle right in the very center, remove it from the oven. If it's still really jiggly in the center, bake it for another 10-15 minutes. If the sweet potato custard doesn't move, it's probably over-baked.
Serve this pie on its own or topped with whipped cream, ice cream, or your favorite dessert sauce.