Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Orange Sweet Potato Pie

Is it pumpkin pie? Is that grass growing out of the top? Is this the easiest recipe you’ll ever make? The answer to all those questions is no. But is it worth it? Definitely!

We’ve made a sweet potato pie before, but this far exceeded that experience. Using fresh (rather than canned) sweet potatoes might have had something to do with it, or it could have been the welcome additions of oranges and rosemary. So delicious!

Yes, it did require buying a few ingredients, but I was curious to see what this blend of flavors would taste like. And I was not disappointed!

I began by making the crust. Which you must begin by chopping fresh rosemary.

It was my first time having a crust that contained cornmeal, powdered sugar, or rosemary, but what a delightful combination!

This was what it looked like with the butter cut in…

…And here is the final crust dough (after water was added) before I put it in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Meanwhile, I began the arduous task of preparing the sweet potatoes! (Please pardon my crazed expression as I beat them to a pulp... literally.)

Well, it was not that hard, since while the pie crust was being prepared, the sweet potatoes were baking in the oven (wrapped in foil, placed directly on the oven rack). That made it very easy to scoop out their insides!

Who needs a food processor when you can just as easily use your hands?! This would be a fun task (and play exercise and sensory experience) for little ones too! Just make sure you allow the sweet potatoes enough time to cool before squeezing them with your hands! (Mine were cooled for almost an hour, and they were still a little warm.)

But they melted easily in my hands and turned into a beautiful pulp to be used as the pie filling!

By this time the pie crust had had time to chill, so I rolled it out and placed it in the pie pan. Well, there are a couple steps in between that. In actuality, I rolled it out 3 times, broke it 3 times,, got frustrated, and smooshed the ball of dough to the sides of the pie pan. Maybe if I had chilled it longer it would have rolled out more easily. But it still tasted good!

While the pie crust is baking for a few minutes and then cooling, begin making the pie filling! Combine sugar and melted butter with prepared sweet potatoes.

Add in the evaporated milk.

Sprinkle in the spices.

And don’t forget the titular orange zest and juice like I did! I had the pie in the oven for 3 minutes before realizing it was missing the orange! Luckily, I was able to add it and gingerly stir it directly in the pie pan!

Here is the beautiful pie cooling after doing its time in the oven. Looks like pumpkin pie, doesn’t it?

I added fresh rosemary sprigs as garnishes. (I originally had them sticking up out of the pie, but my sister thought it looked like grass growing.)

What an amazing flavor this pie had! The sweet potato pulp was still evident and perfectly accented with the oranges and spices, and the rosemary was very evident in the pie crust and was such a great complement to the pie filling.

These leftovers didn’t last long in our house!

Orange Sweet Potato Pie (recipe from My Recipes)
¾ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter (cut in pieces)
¼ cup VERY cold water

  1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients.
  2. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle water 1 T. at a time over mixture; stir with fork.
  4. Wrap in plastic; chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface; fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp. Chill 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust 20 minutes, shielding edges to prevent browning.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).

1½ lb. sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. orange zest
1 T. fresh orange juice
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1½ tsp. vanilla

  1. Wrap sweet potatoes individually in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp, mash pulp, and discard skins.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until blended. Pour mixture into mostly cooled pie crust.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Let cool 1 hour on wire rack before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

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