Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
Southern Living: November 2010

This delicious pie is on the cover of the Southern Living Thanksgiving issue and has the look of perfection. Mine of course does not look as fabulous since I don’t have a food stager or professional photographer on standby. Many years ago at a Thanksgiving buffet I grabbed a slice of sweet potato pie by mistake thinking it was pumpkin—they are both orange. I was disappointed when I was told it was sweet potato, but reluctantly tasted it anyway and was pleasantly surprised. This pie was absolutely delicious and exceeded the pie in my memory.

Also last night while eating Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner I realized this pie can double a side or dessert since its sweet potato!

I started off this year’s holiday season with our new tradition of a broken oven (it has broken 3 years in a row during the holidays). Fortunately the part was available and it was repaired on Tuesday allowing me plenty of time to bake my dessert to take to Scott’s family Thanksgiving.

There were several great things about this pie recipe. I was able to bake the sweet potatoes for the filling on Tuesday night, use a Pillsbury pie crust and assemble and bake the pie on Wednesday, and then prepare the meringue on Thursday morning. For the sweet potatoes, I poked them with a fork, wrapped them in foil and baked them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour and half and then scooped out the filling. I absolutely detest making a pie crust from scratch--I feel like it’s a lot of unnecessary work for something that is in the background, and yet at the same time it’s so essential. I once cut my finger on the food processor blade while making a pie crust for a less than stellar pie, so maybe I am scarred for life. But there are some shortcuts I take to deviate from my scratch method, and for me the Pillsbury pie crust is one of those rare exceptions.

This pie also had several baking firsts for me. I don’t bake a lot of pies since my favorite desserts are cookies and I will occasionally bake a tart but tart crust is entirely different. Anyway this pie called for prebaking the pie crust using pie weights. I didn’t read over the directions until the last minute, so instead of braving the Thanksgiving shopper insanity at the grocery store to pick up some dried beans, I was already planning to stop by Williams-Sonoma for some pre-black Friday holiday shopping and purchased pie weights there. Scott made the mistake of biting into one thinking it was candy…good thing he didn’t bite too hard or he would have lost a tooth. Also this was my first time to ever make a meringue which sounds intimidating, but it was actually very easy thanks to my Kitchen Aid mixer. However I discovered in the car on the way to our Thanksgiving meal that meringue can melt so it needs to stay in the fridge.


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