14 April 2009

Sweet Potato Pie

Yesterday I baked four sweet potatoes to go with some leftover ham from Easter, but once Bubba and the girls got home we decided we were in more of a breakfast mood. So we had pancakes. That left me with a Ziploc bag full of sweet potatoes in the fridge. What to do...what do do...PIE! It's been raining/storming all day here, very dreary. Just the right atmosphere for a heavy, sweet, comfort food pie.
You'll need:
4 medium sweet potatoes, baked
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp (+) cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
Start by scraping out the good stuff from your sweet potatoes. If you find any hard lumps (unbaked potato) don't use it. I suppose you could try cooking it in the microwave to soften it up, but definitely don't put it in the pie.

Put the potato and the butter in a mixer and whisk it for at least 5 minutes. Really, you can't beat it too long. Sweet Potato Pie tends to have a grainy texture when the potatoes aren't mashed into oblivion. (Sidebar: I always indicate "butter" in my recipes, but never use it myself. Well, only half butter anyway. I use Smart Balance baking sticks. They are half butter and half Smart Balance. I can't recommend them enough! I ran out one day and was at a drugstore where they only sold butter. I thought, just this once, and bought some to use in my chocolate chip cookies. DRY. I never, never use anything but SB sticks, but I always write "butter" in my recipes.)

Now add some milk and beat the hell out of the mixture again. Your choice on what type of milk you want to add. Evaporated, whole, 2%, half and half, or skim. I used skim this time. Always like to cut out fat where I can. Because I eat a lot of desserts...and I like to have more than one slice of pie. :)

Dig my new measuring cup in that picture! It has cups, milliliters, ounces, pints, with liquid measurements on one side and dry on the other. It's nowhere near as useful as I thought it would be, but I can't resist new kitchen gadgets and I had some store credit at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. :)

Time for the cup of brown sugar. Dark or light would work. If you don't have brown sugar you can make your own. I do that quite often, as I go through brown sugar like it was water. Add one tablespoon of molasses to one cup of white sugar for light brown sugar. Mix with a fork. If you don't have molasses...sorry. Just add white sugar and a bit more cinnamon.

My favorite part...the eggs! Add them one at a time and beat until incorporated. I used two Smores' eggs this time.

Add vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Use just the one tsp of vanilla, but you can play around with the nutmeg and cinnamon. I don't really like nutmeg, so I go easy on it. If you love it, add more! I rarely use just one tsp of cinnamon. I like to hold the spoon over the bowl and shake out the cinnamon, letting it fall all over the batter until the tsp is full. I'm sure I get almost 2 tsp in there, if not more.

Sprinkle a little flour into your pie pan to keep the crust from sticking. (That's a tip I got from my father-in-law. Thank you, John!) I used a refrigerated, rolled pie crust. They are as tasty, if not more tasty, than homemade and so ridiculously easy to use. Let it warm up a bit, though, or it will tear when you try to put it in the pan. But don't do like I did this time and leave it on the stove while going off to do laundry. It almost melted.

All that is left is to pour the pie mixture into the pie pan and bake. For a really long time. Loooooong time. I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with my oven. I put the pie pan on a cookie sheet in case it spilled over (still have cherry pie in the bottom of my oven) but this pie doesn't bubble over. No need for a cookie sheet. I probably added a good 20 minutes to the baking time. Oh well. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes...or 80 if you put it on a cookie sheet. It will brown slightly on top and go from this:

to this:

You'll know it is done when you stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Enjoy!!


VanderbiltWife said...

Mmmm. I LOVE me some sweet potato pie. This one looks gorgeous!

Sunshine Mom said...

Thanks! It was really good. Too good. :)