There are pictures here of two of my pies–one from Thanksgiving 2008 and the one I made tonight–Thanksgiving Eve 2010.
I usually make two sweet potato pies at a time because it doesn’t take any extra time to double the ingredients as you boil the sweet potatoes or toast the nuts. And, once you’ve boiled the sweet potatoes, really, it is all smooth sailing from there. You do, however, have to make sure there is plenty of room in your fridge because these pies take two hours to cool. It is a cold pie, after all.
This pie uses a cornmeal crust–and I learned the hard way to just use the cheap yellow corn meal and not get all fancy with Red’s Mill cornmeal. Red’s is a medium grind, the cheap stuff is a finer grind for good reason. Lets just say the medium grind is not totally unlike eating egg shells. It is awful. Don’t go there. Just get the cheap stuff for cornmeal crusts.
I’ve put together a step-by-step pictorial on the process to make it easier.
This recipe comes from a pie making class I took at Rudy’s A Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho in 2006, taught by Laura Fall-Sutton.
1lb sweet potatos
1/4 c butter, unsalted
1 recipe cornmeal pastry (below)
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1TBSP finely shredded (zested) orange peal. Navel works well.
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 slighly beaten eggs
1 C half and half
1 recipe Nut Streusel Topping (below)
Zest the orange…
Fill pastry shell with sweet potato mixture. Cover edge of pie with foil or protector.
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 TBSP butter
1/4 c toasted and chopped hazelnuts or almonds
Mix ingredients except for nuts; cutting in butter until resebles crumbs. Add nuts. Sprinkle on top of pie at correct time. NOTE: to toast nuts, simply chop and place on baking sheet for 30 minutes in oven with pie as it bakes.
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c yellow cornmeal (get fine ground; DO NOT get Red’s, it will feel like egg shells)
1/3 c shortening (use butter flavored crisco)
3-5 TBSP ice water
Mix dry ingredients; cutting in shortening until pea-sized. Add one TBSP of water at a time, tossing with fork after each addition. Roll dough in to ball when done. Place ball in fridge until ready to roll out and put in pie plate.