Sweet potato Pie or Tart
Totally new for me when I arrived in America was sweet potato, pumpkin and pecan pie. It took me less than a full second to fall in love with these American classics. Since I did not grow up with these pies, they are absolutely not season bound in my head, and to me, whipping up a sweet potato pie in the summer makes as much sense as baking one for Thanksgiving. After all, if something tastes so good in the fall, why only eat it in the fall? Do we not eat turkey sandwiches year round?
Obviously I can never leave good enough alone and I decided to give this version a small face lift, slightly contemporary. If you decide to turn this into a classic pie or use a tart pan or ring, it is totally up to you. For decor I decided to poach some sweet potato strips in simple syrup and then dried them in a low temp oven until deliciously crispy. Without the fried taste and heartburn thank you very much.
Standard pie dough, what the French call Pate Brisee, is delicious for many pies but for sweet potato, pumpkin and pecan pies, sweet tart dough works exceptionally well. Baked blind (baked without a filling) and then filled with the appropriate custard, a sweet tart dough crust holds up real good to moist custard fillings, resulting in a pie with a nice crisp crust.
Sweet potato pie needs to be made from fresh cooked sweet potatoes. A can will simply not do. We’re not dealing with pumpkin here. Do not waste your ingredients and money. Peel a couple of potatoes and boil them in some unsalted water. It’s done in a snap. When their fork tender, remove from water and remove the fork. Yes, eliminate the fork. The sweet potatoes need to be completely made smooth made with a blender or immersion blender. Hitting the potatoes with a fork will not get them velvety as they need to be. Otherwise, the pie will have small sweet potato pieces in them, tricking your mind your still at the main dish.
Getting it all together!
Prepare the sweet tart dough first. You can make the dough days ahead and keep in your freezer. Remove from freezer a day before you need it and defrost in your refrigerator. You can even prebake the tart shells days ahead and keep in your freezer until you need them. This way you have these pies done at the spur of the moment. The filling can be made a week ahead to and also kept in the freezer. Defrost the two, combine the two and bake. Done!
Sweet potato pie
Yield: one nine inch (22 cm) pie or tart.
- Roll half of the chilled sweet tart dough to a thickness of 3-4 credit cards. Line the dough in a pie or tart shell and prick with a fork on the bottom of the shell.
- Place in a preheated 375°F (180°C) oven until very light golden. During baking check the dough to ensure it does not fall of the sides or puffs. If it slides down press back in place. For puffing prick gently with a fork and return to the oven.
- When light golden brush with beaten egg white as shown in the picture to seal and protect the crust from moisture of the filling. Return to the oven for a minute or two.
- Cool the shell. Pour the filling in the shell and place in a 325-350°F (160-180°C) oven until the filling no longer trembles, about 40 minutes.
- Place in a refrigerator. Once cooled serve with crème Chantilly.
Sweet Tart Dough
Yield: Dough for 2 large pies or tarts. Freeze any unused portion for up to two months.
|1 Stick + 3 Tbsp||(5.5 oz)||Unsalted butter , soft||165 g|
|1 Cup||(4 oz)||Powdered sugar||120 g|
|1 teaspoon||(1tsp)||Vanilla extract||1 tsp|
|2 teaspoon||(2 tsp)||Lemon zest||10 ml|
|2 Cups + 2 Tbsp||(10 oz)||All purpose flour||300 g|
- Mix the butter until soft and creamy. Sift and add the powdered sugar and combine well. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon zest and mix until smooth.
- In one step add all the flour and combine until just mixed together. Do not mix more than necessary.
- Press flat on a plastic food film lined cookie sheet and place in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or until cool enough to roll.
- Freeze any unused portion.
Sweet potato pie filling
Yield: Filling for one nine inch (22cm) pie.
|1 lb||(1 lb)||Sweet potatoes||480 g|
|1 Cup, well packed||(8 oz)||Brown sugar||240 g|
|¾ Cup||(6 oz)||Heavy cream||180 g|
|¼ Cup||(2 oz)||Milk||60 g|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Vanilla extract||5 ml|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Cinnamon||2 gram|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Ginger||2 gram|
|¼ teaspoon||( ¼ tsp)||Cardamom or all spice||½ gram|
|¼ teaspoon||( ¼ tsp)||Salt||½ gram|
- Peel and cut the sweet potatoes in even cubes. Place in a pot filled with water and cook until fork tender. Drain and press firmly in a measuring cup to obtain 1 ½ Cups or scale to obtain 12 oz (360 gram).
- Combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, heavy cream, milk and vanilla and blend smooth in a blender or use an immersion blender. Add the eggs and all spices and salt and blend to combine.
Yield: 8 servings
|1tablespoon||(1 Tbsp)||Extra fine granulated sugar||15 g|
|1 Cup||(8 oz)||Heavy cream||240 ml|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Vanilla extract||1 tsp|
- In a bowl whip all the ingredients to firm peak.
Sweet Potato crisps
Yield: 1 sweet potato
|1Cup||(8 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||240 g|
|1 Cup||(8 oz)||Water||240 ml|
- Peel the sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler cut thin long strips of the potato.
- In a non reactive saucepan bring to a boil the sugar and water. Add the potato strips and turn heat to a very low simmer.
- Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the potato strips are tender and parts are translucent.
- Drain and place in a crinkly fashion on a Silpat. Place in a 220°F (100°C) oven for nearly one hour or until near crisp. The sweet potato crisps will become crisper as they cool.
- Once cooled store airtight.