A maple pumpkin pie

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The Cornell Maple Program offers an online trove of eating—and drinking!—ideas for the state’s signature sweet elixir

By Lindsay Lennon

In 2007, a community nutrition educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lewis County, NY, set out on a personal mission: to show that maple syrup isn’t just for pancakes.

Dolores DeSalvo compiled hundreds of maple-related recipes, dividing them into categories including desserts, salad dressings, veggies, meats, and more.

They range from the sweet and straightforward (muffins, glazed carrots, four kinds of cheesecake) to the adventurous—from maple mustard chicken salad to roasted pumpkin wedges with maple-chipotle glaze.

“We’re very proud of our maple background up here,” says Michele Ledoux, CCE executive director for Lewis County (located about an hour northeast of Syracuse, not far from the Canadian border), noting that the region is a big maple producer.

A maple old fashioned cocktail.
A maple old-fashioned. (Beth Saulnier / Cornell University)

The recipes are hosted on the website of the Cornell Maple Program, which supports the state’s maple industry through research, product development, and other activities.

In addition to processing its own syrup and running two research forests (one near Ithaca, the other in the Adirondacks), the CALS-based program conducts workshops and offers a slew of online resources to help producers modernize or expand their operations.

Although DeSalvo passed away in 2012, her compilation of maple-centric recipes lives on online. But it all started with dozens of pages DeSalvo constructed in Microsoft Word, complete with illustrations and maple-themed clip art.

In addition to a database of DeSalvo’s recipes (and others that have since been added), the site features a series of cooking videos.

A maple tree in fall
A maple in autumn at Cornell's Uihlein Forest. (Adam Wild)

Maple lovers can help grow the recipe library by submitting their own creations.

Many of the dishes are ideal for the fall harvest and holiday seasons. The collection features so many pie recipes, for instance, that they’re separated into three categories—plus cakes, pastries, muffins, and more.

On the vegetable side, there are entire sections devoted to sweet potatoes, as well as a dozen-plus recipes for maple-infused squash.

Meat lovers will recognize holiday favorites involving ham and turkey—plus more offbeat options like maple-glazed hot dogs and maple mango chicken.

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The collection even features a range of beverages that embrace maple’s natural sweetness—from smoothies and variations on the milkshake (maple soda float, anyone?) to coffee drinks like the maple macchiato.

For the 21+ crowd, cocktail recipes abound—including maple twists on the old fashioned, the margarita, the mule, and more.

Maple Pumpkin Pie


1 unbaked 10" pie shell, well chilled, fluted edge
Leaf shapes cut from pastry scraps
1½ c. pumpkin purée, fresh or canned
½ c. maple syrup
1½ c. milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbs. flour
1½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt

A slice of maple pumpkin pie
(Joe Wilensky / Cornell University)


Preheat oven to 425 °F. Mix together pumpkin, syrup, milk, and eggs. Whisk until smooth. Stir in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Mix until well blended. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie shell. Bake about 40 minutes, until filling is firm and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool.

While cooling, place leaf shapes in oven on cookie sheet and bake until golden brown. Garnish top of pie with baked leaf shapes. Let cool completely before cutting with a sharp knife.

Top: A freshly baked maple pumpkin pie from the kitchen of Associate Editor Alexandra Bond ’12. (Joe Wilensky / Cornell University)

Published November 13, 2023

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