Sweet Potato Pie

IMG_7552RECIPE #109, DAY #133

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Basic Piecrust” and “Melt in Your Mouth Sweet Potato Pie” from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, by Nathalie Dupree*

TIMING: 2 hours, not including cooling time. It can be broken into 1 hour and 1 hour

DIFFICULTY: Somewhere between easy and difficult

TOOLS: A pie plate, for starters. A stand mixer is helpful, as well as pie weights and a crust protector

COOK TYPE: Oven. Baking

HEALTH: It’s pie. But it’s vegetable pie. A sweet one.

EXPERIENCE: This is my first sweet potato pie. I was catering a Southern luncheon for 40, and I wanted sweet potato and pecan pies. During the process, I changed some things about the crust, including sweetening it. In the end, I decided that I didn’t like folding in the whipped egg whites. It might have lightened the pie filling, but the egg whites mostly just rose to the top and gave the pie a very ugly face. I’d rather stick to the traditional process and have a pretty, burnt-orange-colored pie that at least someone will be able to identify.

So this is a fine recipe for sweet potato pie. I think in the future, I will do better.

NOTES: You never want to use self-rising flour for a pie crust. Just in case that’s what you accidentally bought. 😉

I also really wonder if canned sweet potato puree wouldn’t work here. It might need another 1/4 cup granulated sugar.

Vodka is optional, but I think it makes a nicer dough.

***

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Work in 1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter and 1/4 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. A pastry cutter or your fingers work well, but work fast.
  2. A tablespoon at a time, first add 1 tablespoon ice cold vodka, then ice cold water. You may need 6 tablespoons or so, but you only want to add until you have a non-sticky ball of dough.
  3. On a floured surface, press the ball out into a disk and smooth the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to cool. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375F.
  4. Back on your floured surface, unwrap your dough disk and flour it. Roll out until several inches bigger than a pie plate. Roll the sheet of dough up on to the rolling pin, then unroll it over a pie plate. Gently press it into the corners, then crimp and trim the crust. Now, let it rest for 15 minutes in the freezer.
  5. Fill the dough with a layer of pie weights (or dried beans which you keep specifically for this purpose. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. While crust is baking, whisk 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water. After the 15 minutes, remove the pie weights and brush the crust with the egg wash. Return to the oven for 8 minutes. Set crust aside and cool. When ready, continue with recipe.
  7. Preheat oven to 400F.
  8. Drain a 15 oz can sweet potatoes and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  9. Beat 3 eggs in a stand mixer until pale and ribbony. Add the sweet potatoes. Then, add 3/4 cup brown sugar (dark, if you have it), 1/2 cup room temperature butter, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon clove, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix on medium-high for 4 minutes.
  10. Add 1 1/2 cups cream (or evaporated milk) and mix just until combined.
  11. Set you pie plate and crust on a rimmed baking sheet (to avoid spillage). Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and bake another 45 minutes. Test done-ness with a toothpick.

***

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream and plenty of coffee.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Penny Champange says:

    I have been trying to find a recipe for a dessert at our Thanksgiving and I have finally found it! Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

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