Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie

Thank you, Patti LaBelle! You've given me something delicious to do with all these extra sweet potatoes!

Typical options for extra sweet potatoes include:

  1. Eating them as leftovers for lunch.
  2. Sealing them up in Tupperware, placing them in the back of the fridge, and forgetting about them.
  3. See above.
Not any more, friends! Before Thanksgiving I was watching the TODAY show at the gym and saw that Walmart was sold out of Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie due to a viral YouTube video and a sweet potato shortage. Amazing! As I treadmilled my way through the interview, I knew I HAD to make this pie. I mean, people were trying to sell it on Ebay for $12,000! 

I had never tasted sweet potato pie, as I am relatively new to the sweet potato scene. We never ate them growing up, not even the kind with marshmallows. When my husband and I were dating, I spent Thanksgiving dinner with his family. It was a good time. It turned out I liked his family a lot, and we even got laughing so hard that his brother squirted milk out his nose! (He'll not like that I told you that.) I also found out that not only did they eat sweet potatoes, but they were also my husband's favorite part of holiday meals. The preparation was simple- just baked until very soft, peeled, and then slathered with butter. 

I'm now converted to the sweet potato. I love them with melted butter, and stuffed with pulled pork. But in a pie? I'm happy to tell you, yes!  You should consider leaving the pumpkin pie behind and going straight for the Sweet Potato Pie.

Patti LaBelle's recipe is amazing. I'm not a fan of making pie crust, but her crust is simple and delicious. Flaky, tender, and easy to put together, I'd make it again in a heartbeat. I used Butter Flavored Crisco just like she reccomends, and it worked a treat! The bottom of the pie crust is coated in melted butter and brown sugar, which gives a divine depth to the pie, and then the filling. The filling!  It is moist, creamy, and close to heavenly. I love the equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg. It almost feels like pumpkin pie, but the spices are better, and it is smoother and more satisfying. I topped my pie with whipped cream and started singing Lady Marmalde at the top of my Little Red Hen lungs. It was beautiful! 

(The pie was beautiful, not my singing. Just to clarify. And I wasn't actually singing. More smiling loudly and thinking about singing, which is best for everyone. I was also singing James Taylor's "Sweet Potato Pie" in my mind, too, because once I tasted it I was like, "Yeah. I'd write a song about Sweet Potato Pie. I get that. That much hotter than a jalapina.")

Make this pie. I know it isn't Thanksgiving, but it is still the holiday season and of course the most logical thing to do with leftover sweet potatoes is make Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie. Don't condemn your leftovers to a cold and potentially moldy end in the back of the fridge! Give them a second, beautiful chance in the creamiest, dreamiest holiday pie around. 

Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie

slightly adapted from TODAY show
For the Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco, chilled
  • 1/3 cup ice water
For the Filling:
  • 3 cups orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 8 tbs butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
For the crust: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Cut in chilled Butter-Flavored Crisco with a pastry cutter or fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  2. Stirring with fork, gradually add in enough water until dough clumps together (you may need less water). Gather dough up and press into a thick disk. If using previously baked potatoes, form the crust now. If potatoes still need to be cooked, wrap dough in wax paper and refridgerate for up to an hour.
  3. On a lightly floured work space, roll out the dough into a 13 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. (Honestly, I think my circle was smaller.) Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan, folding the dough to a 1-inch overhang. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan.
  4. Brush inside with some melted butter and about 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, until bottom of the crust is coated. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, until crust is set and just beginning to brown. If crust puffs, do not prick it.

For the filling:
  1. Mash peeled baked sweet potatoes with a hand mixer on medium speed. Measure 3 cups and put into a meduim sized bowl. (You can also bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the sweet potatoes, and reduce the heat to medium. Then cook them until tender, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water, peel, and mash.)
  2. Add remaining melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Spread filling into partially baked pie crust and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2  hours. 
  4. Cool completely on a wire rack and refridgerate until ready to serve. Top with whippped cream.
Bake the bread. Share the slices. 

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