Monday, December 24, 2007

Sweet Potato Pie

My sister-in-law makes the best sweet potato pie I've ever tasted. She gave me the recipe a few years ago. I had been making it by the book, but I started tinkering with it this Thanksgiving. I made some additional enhancements today. I may have improved perfection! First, I make my own crust. My family just doesn't do the scratch crusts anymore; Pet-Ritz crusts have treated us well all these years. We've kinda moved up to the ones you unfold and bake.

I'm the one to break tradition. Let me say here that the food processor can be your best friend when making pie dough. Love your food processor. Name your food processor. Miracle is below.
If only I would learn how to flute properly. I want angled flutes, but I end up with these each and every time.
Hopefully, your potatoes are cooking while you make the crust. My family boils the potatoes. I bake them. You've heard me say it before:  roasting intensifies flavor and helps those natural sugars do their thing. See the caramelization in the left pic below, that's what you're looking for. You'll never get that kinda flavor with boiling!

The most important thing when making sweet potato pie is to mash the potatoes while they are hot! You'll end up with stringy foolishness if you let them cool before mashing. Old Faithful, my KitchenAid stand mixer, makes quick work of mine. You will have a few strings, but they should be stuck to the paddle. Do not mix them back in.
As far as the rest of the ingredients go, they are standard: sweetened condensed milk, eggs, sugar, vanila, nutmeg and cinnamon. I wish I had a beautiful photo to end with, but it is what it is. When I take the pies out of the oven, they're a little puffy. They deflate as they cool. This pies were for someone else, so I couldn't cut into them. I did make a test pie (dough scraps and left over filling) and it was good. I hope these are liked.

 Tools of the trade: