Monday, November 29, 2010
Thanksgiving & Sweet Potato Pie
Even though there was only my grandmother and I celebrating Thanksgiving this year at my house, we were both really looking forward to it. Due in large part to the FOOD. But that seems to be a universal sentiment this time of year. And of course, I had so much to celebrate and be thankful for, but that's not limited to just one day. I'm grateful everyday. I hope you, too, have many reasons to feel thankful.
This year was different in that we ventured away from our usual store bought desserts and I made everything from scratch. Believe it or not, I have less than a year total baking experience. Before then, most of the things I cooked were pre-packaged, frozen and re-heated. What a difference a year can make! Most of the food you'd find in my kitchen these days are things I made myself.
I, myself don't eat any pie with egg in it, but when my grandmother requested a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving, I was happy to oblige. If you've seen my previous posts' Here, and Here, you know I've fallen in love with pie making over the months.
I chose this one especially for its inclusion of maple syrup, which I thought sounded perfect for the Holiday.
Sweet Potato Pie
Recipes courtesy and adapted from Simply Recipes and MomsWhoThink
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon real maple syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
1 &1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
To Make Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Poke holes in two sweet potatoes. Cover in aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour and ten minutes or until soft. When ready, continue to next step.
3. In large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Turn speed to low and add in eggs 1 at a time.
4. Add in remaining ingredients: remove skin from sweet potatoes and measure out 1 and 1/2 cups filling, maple syrup, vanilla, cream, nutmeg and cinnamon, mix on low or stir until combined.
*See below for crust instructions.
Cover sides and top of pie crust completely with aluminum foil. Use fork to create holes in bottom of crust. Place pan with bottom crust in oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until bottom crust lightly browns on 375 degrees. Remove pan from oven. Carefully remove aluminum foil.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Pour sweet potato filling into pie crust and bake for 40 minutes, or until firm.
To Make Crust:
In standard sized food processor, or large bowl, process, or mix with hand mixer, flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add in shortening and process or mix until mixture resembles coarse sand, approximately 10 seconds. Add pieces of butter over flour mixture and process in 1 second pulses, or mix, turning hand mixer on then off, until pieces of butter are no bigger than small peas. Add 6 tablespoons ice water to mixture and, using a rubber spatula or hand mixer on low, fold in, or mix until just combined. Pinch dough with fingertips to be sure it sticks together, If not, add an additional 2 tablespoons ice water. Do not process or mix more than 30 seconds.
Turn dough onto work surface and gather into ball. Divide dough in half and flatten each into a round disk-like shape. Cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
After an hour, remove one round of dough from refrigerator. Measure out and lightly flour two equal pieces of wax paper. Place dough, in center, between two pieces of wax paper, begin to flatten round of dough with rolling pin. Give wax paper square a quarter turn after each roll. Roll dough two inches larger than inverted pie plate. (Place pie plate, upside down, over dough to make sure it's big enough.) Carefully remove only top layer of wax paper. Turn remaining wax paper holding dough, so that the dough is facing down, into pie pan. Make sure dough is even in pan. Carefully remove second piece of wax paper, which should be bottom side up. Brush off excess flour. Roll hanging dough under itself to crimp or cut off excess. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Reserve both pieces of wax paper and repeat process of rolling with second dough round.
Using a cookie cutter, cut out the shape you desire using to decorate top of crust. Place shapes on lined cookie sheet, remove excess dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
(I used maple leafs.)
Once pie has cooled, baked shapes in preheated 400 degree oven for about ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow shapes to cool and assemble over top of pie.