Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sweet potato pie

First time I've ever made sweet potato pie and it was really good. Makes me want to make it again. You can see in my picture that I didn't take the foil off my pie before putting on the marshmallows (in fact I didn't even write it in the instructions.) My crust was already starting to brown too much. I think for next time I would cover the crust for the first 30 minutes, then take off the cover when adding the marshmallows to avoid the sticking problem I had.  This is from my whole grain cooking book - hence the barley and wheat flour crust.  Feel free to use your own recipe crust, but this was good.

Crust ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup (2 3/4 oz) whole barley flour
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon buttermilk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons cold orange juice. (3 were actually too many for me.)
Filling ingredients:
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or yams (1 lb) peeled and cut into chunks.
  • 1/4 cup cranberry or apple juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together the flours, buttermilk powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and work into dry ingredients. Sprinkle in orange juice a tablespoon at a time continuing to mix until dough is cohesive. (I started with 3 Tablespoons and it was too much. I had to add more flour.)
Shape dough into a disk. Roll on its edge along a floured work surface to smooth the edges out. Pat the disk till it's about 1 inch thick, wrap in plastic and refgrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
30 min before assembling the pie, remove the dough from the fridge. Allow it to warm a bit and get flexible, 15 to 20 min.
Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie pan that is at least 1 1/4 inches deep. Trim and crimp the edges making a tall crimp. Place the crust in teh fridge to chill while preparing the filling.
Preheat oven to 425
Cook the sweet potatoes by placing them in a microwave safe dish. Drizzle with juice, cover and cook 12 to 14 minutes - till soft. Mash the sweet potatoes. You should have 1 1/4 cups (11 oz) I think I had a bit more than that. I put them in the food processor then added the sugar, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Then I added the eggs.

Chop the dried pineapple and crystallized ginger into fine pieces; spread on the bottom of the cruet then pour filling over it. (I couldn't find crystallized ginger. I tried to chop the dried pineapple in the food processor, but it made a sticky mess. did sprinkle a bit of ginger on the pineapple. It wouldn't chop. I ended up rolling it out with my rolling pin - which was still sticky, but that at least made a sheet which I put on the bottom of my pie crust. Not sure flavor wise if it was worth the effort or not. It didn't take away from the pie, but I'm not sure it added enough to make it worth the effort.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes, reduce the oven temp to 350, cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove pie, sprinkle with marshmellows. Return pie to oven and bake until a knife inserted 1 inch from teh edge comes out clean, 20 minutes or more. Remove from oven and place on a rack.

While pie is cooking, make garnish.

Place the pecan halves, sugar and salt in a large frying pan. Cook mix over medium heat stirring frequently, until sugar melts and caramelizes the pecans. Once the sugar melts and turns golden brown, remove from heat, continue to stir until the nuts are thoroughly coated with the sugar. (should take 6 to 8 minutes) Transfer the nuts to a piece of parchment or foil to cool. (This didn't work super well for me either. The sugar seemed to stick to the nuts in crystals rather than making a syrup. I've done this before, but can't remember what I did. I think I would probably start the sugar out alone in the pan and then add the nuts later. My other thought was that maybe my frying pan was too big.)

Arrange caramelized pecans on pie. The pie is best served 30 minutes to 1 hour after baking, but believe me, it was still good the next day. I didn't taste the wheat in the crust the first day. The second time I ate it I thought it tasted a bit wheaty, but the third time it tasted fine.

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