Sweet Potato Pie
These frigid days, I find myself seeking out excuses to keep the oven on in the kitchen to help warm up the ground floor of our chilly little house. And thus was the idea born to bake a Sweet Potato Pie, which would entail baking the sweet potatoes for a blessed hour, and then baking the assembled pie for another glorious 60 minutes. If your home has better climate control than mine and you need a different excuse to bake yourself a pie, perhaps you can make it in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Admittedly, by all accounts, his favorite pie was actually pecan. But if he were still alive today, he’d be 81 years old and probably watching his sugar and fat intake. And being a reasonable man, surely he would have enjoyed a marginally less sinful, Vitamin A-rich wedge of Sweet Potato Pie just as much.
Having resolved to bake myself a pie, there was, of course, the matter of the crust. I’d suffered through enough of those godawful frozen gluten-free pie crusts from Thanksgiving. And I couldn’t bear the thought of playing around with a sticky rice-flour dough only to be disappointed. So I decided to experiment with my own version of a graham cracker crumb crust made with what I suspected would be a perfect substitute: Puffins cereal, pulsed through the food processor. I used the Honey Rice variety since it’s gluten-free, but the recipe below should work with your Puffin flavor of choice. If you are more virtuous than I was, however, and would prefer to go crust-free, feel free to bake this pie as a souffle-cake of sorts in a well-lubed springform pan. It will still be delicious, and leaving out the crust transforms this indulgent pie into a healthy, sensible dessert with almost half the calories and some very redeeming nutritional qualities (see below for the stats).
One last matter I’d like to clear up before the root vegetable police pounce on me about the whole sweet potato/yam issue. The bright orange root vegetables we tend to refer to as ‘yams’ in this country are almost always the so-called “soft” variety of sweet potato. (True yams, botanically speaking, come from Africa or the Caribbean, and are not related to sweet potatoes. They are much starchier and lack the same levels of Vitamin A; see the description of Ñame from my previous post on Caribbean root vegetables to see the difference). There are also “firm” sweet potatoes, which have a paler yellow flesh and bake up to be drier than the moist, soft, orangey soft sweet potato we call yams. I used jewel yam sweet potatoes in this recipe–can you get over that gorgeous color?–to create the perfect soft, souffle-like filling.
Recipe: Tamara’s Sweet Potato Pie
For the (optional) crust:
1 and 2/3 cups of Puffin crumbs (will require about 3.5-4 cups of Puffins cereal pulsed in your food processor). For gluten-free, use the Honey Rice or Multigrain Puffin cereal variety.
6 TBSP (organic) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (organic) sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend all ingredients in a bowl until well-combined. Dump mixture into a 9″ pie pan and press it with your hands to cover the bottom and sides of pan evenly. Bake for 7-9 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool before filling.
For the Sweet Potato filling:
2 to 2 1/4 lbs. sweet potatoes (“yams”), scrubbed clean.
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (organic) light brown sugar
2 TBSP (organic) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP rum
- Bake the sweet potatoes: pierce them with a fork several times, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until nice and soft all the way through.
- Split open the baked sweet potatoes and scoop out the orange flesh into a large mixing bowl. (It should easily peel away from the skin).
- Add the eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and rum to the sweet potato flesh. Mix all together using a large fork until ingredients well combined, but so that sweet potato flesh still remains somewhat textured and fibrous. (Don’t beat it into a super-smooth filling… the somewhat lumpier texture is what makes a sweet potato pie so different than a silky pumpkin pie and gives it a characteristic heartiness.)
- If you are using a crust, pour filling into crust. If you are making a crustless souffle-custard-cake, pour mixture into a well-greased 9″ springform pan.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes at 350 degrees. The pie is ready when the filling is nice and firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Approximate nutrition information per serving (assumes 8 servings):
With Puffin crust: 390 calories, 62g carbohydrate (5 diabetic exchanges…which will certainly blow your entire meal’s budget) of which 4g are fiber, 5g protein, 14g fat, and >100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for adults
Without crust: 215 calories, 40g carbohydrate (3 diabetic exchanges) of which 3g are fiber, 4g protein, 5g fat and >100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for adultsDid you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.