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Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

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Serves 8 to 10.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in a restaurant trade journal.

Because of the spices, this pie has a similar flavor to pumpkin pie, but the flavor is also different. This recipe, because all the filling ingredients are whipped in a food processor, makes a fluffier pie. The texture is creamy and smooth. Topped with whipped cream that is flavored with a little rum, this makes and excellent dessert.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
2 pounds (907g) sweet potatoes; 2 to 3 potatoes, depending on size
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 large eggs (a large egg here in the USA is about 2 ounces/57g in the shell)
¾ cup (177ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup packed (100g) dark brown sugar
¼ cup (50g) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For the Pie Shell:
1½ cups (8 oz./227g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg; room temperature
3/8 cup (75g) butter; room temperature
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup (½ pint/237ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Optional: 2 tablespoons dark rum
Pecans, toasted, enough for garnish

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425°F (215°C). Wash and dry the potatoes. Pierce each one several times with a fork all over in six to eight places. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool until comfortable to handle.

While the potatoes are cooling, prepare the pie shell dough. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Combine the water, salt, and egg in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add the room-temperature butter and whisk until the butter is broken into small beads. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine until dry enough to knead. Knead until smooth (less than a minute), and then wrap and set in a cool place until needed.

Cut the cooked potatoes open and scoop out the flesh, enough to generously fill a 2-cup (473ml) measuring cup. (The weight should be around 600g.) Place in a food processor and purée until smooth. With the motor running, add the melted butter and combine. Add the eggs and combine.

In a small bowl combine the cream, vanilla extract, and bourbon. Add this mixture to the food processor with the motor running. Then add the two sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and cloves. Combine well, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, then set aside.

Heat the oven to 375°F (191°C).

Roll the pie crust dough to fill the bottom and sides of a 9 to 10-inch (23 to 25cm) pie plate. Carefully arrange in the pie dish and then scallop the edges. Fill the pie shell with the sweet potato mixture. There might be more mixture than can fill the shell.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack, then chill several hours in the refrigerator.

Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and ginger until it begins to thicken. With the motor running, add the (optional) rum and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. If you prefer to drape your pie in cream, you can whip to soft peaks.

Heat a skillet and toast the pecans until they begin to darken and the aroma of pecans is obvious, several minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside for garnish.

To plate, cut a piece of pie and arrange on a dessert plate. Top with whipped cream and a few pecans.