Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fiend for everything maple. I am 1000% sure that the best smell in the world is sap boiling. You haven’t lived unless you’ve had a shot of freshly boiled Grade A. Do yourself a favor and take a trip to Vermont on your next vacation during February or March and book a tour to a sugar house. I promise you won’t regret it!
The early months of the year around sugaring season were when my mom would make Pet de Soeurs. This is a traditional Quebecois dessert comprised of pie crust filled with maple syrup and brown sugar, rolled, cut, and baked with yet more maple syrup. The end result is flaky, gooey, and oh-so-decadent. Its one of those simple yet satisfying recipes that is best enjoyed with a group, otherwise you’re apt to eat the whole batch in one sitting!
Many Pet de Soeurs recipes you can find online actually have NO MAPLE! I know right?! What a travesty! Most recipes I’ve found are made with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter instead. While I’m sure these versions are delicious, to me Pet de Soeurs will always bring to mind sugaring season and the maple goodness that goes with it.Finally, lets talk etymology – the name of this dessert is one of the most entertaining things about it. If you have a background in French, you might already have an idea of the translation, which is literally “nun farts.” There are several theories as to how this name came about but my personal opinion is that it arose from the Quebecois habit of using Roman Catholic vocabulary as expletives, though I suppose in this case the name could be interpreted as a compliment. The Catholic Church was extremely involved in civic and social life until around the 1960’s when Quebec started to become secularized. Sassy name or no, this delicious pastry will never fail to please.
A traditional Quebecois pastry with brown sugar and maple syrup.
- 2 pie crusts
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
Make your pie crust of choice and then chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. I like this recipe.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Put 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1 cup of water in a shallow square baker. Whisk for a few seconds to incorporate the syrup and water, then place in the oven as it preheats. We want the dish and syrup mixture to be hot before adding the pastry.
While the oven is preheating, take your pie dough and roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness. Brush with remaining maple syrup and spread brown sugar over crust (I split the pie crust in two and did two batches to make it easier to handle).
Carefully roll pie crust into a pinwheel and cut rounds measuring about 3/4 of an inch.
When oven is preheated, remove the square baker, being careful of the hot syrup mixture. Place your pastry rounds into the baker spiral side up. Bake for 20 minutes, basting half way through.
Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
You will likely have some ragged pieces after cutting the pastry rounds. I hate food waste so rather than discard I simply put them in an oven safe ramekin, drizzle with maple syrup, and bake as normal.