Maple Pecan Upside Down Pie

This pecan pie has two noteworthy qualities.  First, using maple syrup in place of corn syrup adds a woodsier flavor to the filling which is a nice complement to the nuttiness of the pecans.  To my taste buds, corn syrup is just too sweet.  Real maple syrup may be pricier, but it is well worth it.  Second, the pie is served upside down which make it both fun and appropriate for Christmas.  Slicing into an upside down pie is something like unwrapping a gift and discovering what is hidden inside.  Preparing an upside down pie is also easier than it might seem.  Begin by coating the bottom of a pie plate with cooking spray and spreading some chopped pecans in the plate.  Then place your pastry crust over the nuts.  After baking and cooling the pie, it can be inverted onto a serving plate yielding an upside down pie.  Here is the recipe.
cooking spray
1 pastry crust for bottom of dish
3 eggs
1 C real maple syrup
1/2 C light brown sugar
2 T butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C chopped pecans, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. spray bottom of 9 inch pie dish with cooking spray
3. spread 3/4 C chopped pecans on bottom of dish
4. Place the pastry crust in the dish and gently press the crust into the pecans
5. Mix eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended
6. Stir in 1 1/4 C pecans, and pour mix into prepared pie dish
7  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean
8. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack for several hours or overnight
9  Carefully slide a knife between the side of the pie and the dish to separate crust from plate.  Place a dinner plate or large serving plate on top of the pie dish and turn it upside down.  Gently remove the pie plate from the pie to reveal an upside down pie with pecans encrusted on top

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