So I've got this little pie thing thing on. It started at Fathers Day five months ago, this idea to make a pie every Friday. Talk about fun! I call it #PieDayFriday and y'know, whether you bake one pie a year or a couple a week, I'd love for you to join in. Consider that a formal invitation, okay?!
Every so often, I'll share a pie recipe that totally worked. This sweet potato pie? It totally worked. Truth is, it's my very first sweet potato pie and out of the gate, it's not like me to make anything but a plain, perfect classic. But thank goodness that the combo of earthy sweet potato and chocolate work so beautifully together. I especially love how the chocolate swirl has almost the same texture as the sweet potato filling. It's like a chocolate sweet potato. Yeah. Good stuff.
When you make a pie every week, for #PieDayFriday or just because, there's room/time for experimentation. For this pie, I employed some of the techniques learned from How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust from Serious Eats. So far, I love three separate crust techniques. The first is "smashing" bits of butter with flour instead of cutting it in. The second is rolling out the pie dough before letting it rest/chill in the fridge for the gluten to develop. The third is using sugar instead of pie weights, wonderful! For this particular pie, I used those three techniques on my long-time recipe that soooo many cooks love, Flaky Tender Pie Crust and they worked beautifully, maybe better than the original!
If you don't have a pie slated for Thanksgiving, this would be a great addition. But it's also a great fall pie, no need to wait for Thanksgiving or really-truly-right? to risk trying a new recipe for a holiday meal with such high expectations and reliance on tradition.
RECIPE for SWEET POTATO-CHOCOLATE SWIRL PIE
Time to table: 3 hours
Makes 1 deep-dish pie to serve 10
Plan ahead, pie people! Before starting the pie, you'll need a pie crust and cooked sweet potato.
1 cold, unbaked pie shell
About 3 cups sugar, to substitute for pie weights
SWEET POTATO FILLING
4 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 cups roasted, mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Sweet Potato Filling
3 ounces bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Whipped cream, optional
Grated chocolate, optional
CRUST (If needed, arrange the pie crust in a glass deep-dish pie shell, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 - 2 hours.) To parbake the pie shell, place an oven rack in the oven's bottom position (this promotes browning on the bottom crust) and heat oven to 350F/180C. Prick the shell's bottom with the tines of a fork three or four times. Lightly butter foil and place butter-side down in the pie shell, shaping the foil to fit the crust and covering the crust's edges. Fill with sugar, pressing the sugar toward the edges and up the sides. Bake crust covered for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently lift the foil off the crust, preserving the sugar to use again. Return crust to the oven and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes. Let cool slightly or completely.
SWEET POTATO FILLING In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the yolks and whites are fully integrated, then whisk in the cornstarch, pie spice, salt, sweet potato and cream. Reserve 1 cup for the Chocolate Swirl.
CHOCOLATE SWIRL Whisk 1 cup Sweet Potato Filling with melted chocolate.
ASSEMBLE & BAKE Pour Sweet Potato Filling into cooled pie shell. With a spoon, drop dollops of Chocolate Swirl across the pie, then use a small knife to gently swirl the chocolate into the Filling. The slices are so pretty!
BAKE the pie for about 45 minutes, covering the crust's edges with foil or a silicone wrap for the last 5 - 10 minutes. When done, the pie should still appear slightly soft in the center, it will continue cooking as it cools. Let pie cool completely.
MAKE-AHEAD You can mix the pie crust dough and roast the sweet potatoes the day before, even mix the Sweet Potato Filling and Chocolate Swirl. Then bake the pie up to several hours before serving but not a day ahead.
LEFTOVERS Covered, this pie keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days or so. That said, even good crusts suffer with time. "Leftover pie" with a soggy crust is one thing, serving homemade pie made the day before just isn't the greatest idea.
VARIATIONS The original recipe called for pumpkin but I have to say, I really loved the earthy texture of the sweet potatoes paired with chocolate.
ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
ROASTING SWEET POTATOES For this purpose, I like to roast the sweet potatoes in the oven. I did these the night before, enough for 2 cups for the pie plus dinner. After roasting, if the flesh is at all fibrous, run it through a food processor to smooth it out.
SUGAR AS PIE WEIGHTS? I've been pouring over this great post from Serious Eats, How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust by Stella Parks, it's a real gem! It's here where I picked up the idea to use sugar to hold down the crust instead of usual pie weights or dried beans, both of which I find unwieldy. It took 3 cups of sugar to weight down the crust and I've now used the same sugar for three different crusts, I just keep it in a quart jar labeled so that I remember not to bake with it!
RAW PIE CRUSTS, NOT GOOD! Placing the pie on the bottom of the oven helps the bottom crust brown. So does using a glass pie pan, if only because you can monitor the color through the clear glass. So does parbaking (partially baking) the pie shell on its own before adding the filling.
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MORE FAVORITE PIE RECIPES~ Honey Pumpkin Pie ~
~ Perfect Rhubarb Pie: Annie Dimock’s Straight-Up Rhubarb Pie ~
~ Old-Fashioned Green Tomato Pie ~
~ more dessert recipes with vegetables ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ #PieDayFriday ~
~ American Apple Pie ~
~ Apple-Butter Pumpkin Pie ~
~ Pumpkin Pecan Pie ~
~ more pie & tart recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
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