There are two types of people. Those who love sweet potatoes and those who don’t. Same with sweet potato or pumpkin pie.
Personally, I’m a once a year, one slice kind of girl, with regard to this type of pie. I’ve never made sweet potato pie before. Only pumpkin. But when I saw this recipe in Food and Wine mag recently, I knew it had to go on my list of pies to try for Thanksgiving. It was the crust and the meringue topping that hooked me.
I usually LOVE a big dollop of real whipping cream or ice cream on top of pie at Thanksgiving. And I usually only love meringue on lemon. Hello. This is not your mother’s meringue. First, you make a sugar syrup, then beat the egg whites stiff, slowly add the sugar syrup to the whites. Know how meringue is usually light, fluffy, and frou-frou temperamental??? Not this meringue.
Move over. This is serious meringue . I whipped some up, Jake taste tested and immediately used some to top his hot cocoa. Tastes like a home made marshmallow.
Y U M.
And the crust. Gingery, sweet, nutty, graham.
You have to try this.
Sweet Potato Pie with Ginger Pecan Crust
adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
- 1 cup 4 ounces pecan halves
- 11 whole graham crackers broken
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- FILLING AND TOPPING
- Four 8-ounce sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE CRUST
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a pie plate, toast the pecans for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and browned. Let the nuts cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the pecans, graham crackers, ginger, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon; pulse until crumbs form. Add the butter and process until incorporated. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate. Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Using a rubber spatula, press down the crust and let cool completely. Wipe out the processor.
FILLING AND TOPPING
Place potatoes in pot cover with water. Boil sweet potatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes. Peel and let cool. You should have about 2 1/4 cups.
Transfer the sweet potato to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the brown sugar and eggs; process until blended. Add the heavy cream and process again, just until incorporated. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for about 50 minutes, until set and the top looks dry; cover the crust edges with foil if they darken. Let the pie cool completely. Preheat the broiler.
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat without stirring until a candy thermometer inserted in the syrup registers 240°, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. With the machine on, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff, glossy and warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
Mound the meringue over the sweet potato filling, swirling it decoratively. Broil the pie 4 to 6 inches from the heat for about 30 seconds, until the meringue is lightly browned. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.
When making meringue, it is very important the whisk attachment is clean and free of any oil. Also, it helps to have the bowl chilled.
I felt the crust really could have been cut by about 1/4. So you may want to adjust the recipe accordingly.
You may make the crust and filling and bake the pie a day before serving. Refrigerate. Take the pie out of the refrigerator when making the meringue topping. Don't skip the meringue. It's the best ever.
Store pie in refrigerator.