Let’s talk Thanksgiving – if there is one thing I have never understood, it’s having TWO potato dishes – mashed potatoes AND a sweet potato casserole. I get it if you are having 30 people over for Thanksgiving…yeah, you are going to need a lot of dishes and a lot of food. But for a smaller get together, I feel like a person should only have to worry about 1 potato dish and leave room for the other good stuff – stuffing, rolls, veggie sides…and DESSERT.
If you want both, I think a sweet potato pie is the way to go! We have the same idea as a pumpkin pie going here – but instead we use real sweet potatoes! Doesn’t that make you feel great about yourself? And pssst – I really think this sweet potato pie is better than pumpkin pie!
And of course, if you want to go crazy – add pecans and marshmallows to the top. Since this was my first go-round at testing this recipe, I kept it simple, but couldn’t resist putting some marshmallows on top of a piece and throwing it under the broiler really quick. It was a great decision!
I also had some extra filling left over, even though I was doing a 10-inch pie instead of a 9 inch. What to do with extra filling? pour it into small fillo cups – threw those in the oven on another sheet pan with the pie and let them cook for about 15 minutes until the pie was set! They were super fast, easy, and a great way to make use of extra pie filling! They would be great bites for a fall cocktail party…and they should be eaten the day they are made, or the fillo cups will lose their crunch after a day in the fridge.
Sweet Potato Pie
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes one 10-inch Pie
For the Filling:
- 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2- 5oz cans evaporated milk (1 1/4 cups evaporated milk)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
For the No-Roll Pie Crust:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons frozen butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 heaping Tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons cold milk
- Chopped pecans
- mini marshmallows
NOTE: I added marshmallows to the top of individual slices and threw them under the broiler for under 1 minute – this way people who wanted marshmallows got them and people who wanted plain were already taken care of.
For the Filling:
Peel two sweet potatoes and cut them into quarters. Throw those potatoes into a pot of water and boil, until sweet potatoes are very soft and tender.
Test with a thin sharp knife. If there is any resistance, boil longer. Knife should penetrate the sweet potatoes fast and smoothly. Remove potatoes from the water and allow to cool on a plate or wire rack.The first time I did this, my potatoes seemed done but they were still hard in the center, so check the whole tater! If you are having trouble getting them soft, you can always cut into small pieces, put in a microwave save bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for a few minutes until soft.
When cool enough to handle, place in a large bowl. Mash potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher. There should be NO lumps. NOTE: I got my hand mixer and whipped those babies until they were smooth!
Measure 2 cups of the sweet potato mixture and put in a medium sized pot with the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt, the 1/2 stick melted butter, and one 5 oz can of evaporated milk. Cook on low flame for about 5 minutes, whipping with a wire whisk until butter and brown sugar are melted down and mixture is well blended, smooth and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool in pot.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the three eggs with a fork. Add the second 5oz can of evaporated milk, granulated sugar, and vanilla to the eggs and continue beating until creamy. Pour the cooled sweet potato mixture from pot into a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture. Blend thoroughly with a whisk and refrigerate mixture overnight or use immediately. NOTE: I refrigerated mine overnight, because hey, may as well be organized and do it ahead!
For the No-Roll Pie Crust:
In a medium sized bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Whisk together.
Add frozen butter that has been grated on a cheese grater and tablespoon of cream cheese. With your fingers, work the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture, breaking the butter and cream cheese up until well incorporated into the flour. Some butter bits will be tiny, other the size of small pebbles. The dough may even begin to some together in a rough, sandy kind of way.
Combine the milk and oil. Whisk together. Add all at once to the flour and butter mixture. With a fork, begin to combine the ingredients, making sure that all of the flour mixture is introduced to the liquid. The mixture does not need to come together into a ball. Leave it a bit shaggy and dump the dough into a clean 10-inch pie plate. With your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. Try to get the dough as even as possible, but don’t worry too much about finger indentations. You can use a round measuring cup to even things out.
Place the prepared crust in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
When the oven is preheated, remove the crust from the freezer and add the sweet potato filling until almost full. If you want to add pecans or marshmallows to the top, leave a bit of extra room. I used a 10-inch pie shell and had a bit of extra filling.
Heat oven to 450 degrees with a cookie sheet inside. After heated, pour filling into the pie shell and put on the HOT cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for ten minutes then turn oven to 325 and bake for 1 hour more, or until edges and center are raised and puffed and the center only shakes slightly.
Remove from oven. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving. This pie lasts in the refrigerator for at least 4 days!