December 2, 2010
Sweet potato pie.
This sweet potato pie from Smitten Kitchen is one of our household favorites, and it's the only holiday pie I really, truly love. The potatoes and the whipped egg white make it light and fluffy, while the buttermilk and lemon juice give it an addictive tanginess akin to cheesecake.
I was just going to link you to Deb's recipe and call it good, but we prepare our sweet potatoes a little differently, and we like to use a homemade whole wheat pastry crust, so I thought I'd write it all out to reflect the differences.
I really hope you try this. It's amazing.
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick of chilled butter
1/4 cup ice water
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut up the butter into smaller chunks and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse together until the mixture resembles a coarse crumb. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to hold together (you may not need to use all of the water). Take off the lid and test the dough by shaping it into a ball. It shouldn't be too sticky or crumbly. If it falls apart too easily, add another tablespoon or two of ice water and pulse a few more times.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Press down into a disc and refrigerate for an hour. When ready to use, remove from refrigerator and roll out to fit a 9" pie pan.
Sweet Potato Pie
2 medium sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 300°F (Or lower, if you can be patient. The lower your oven's temperature, the sweeter your potatoes will be when they're done roasting).
Scrub the sweet potatoes under water, and pierce with a fork. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet on the middle rack of your oven. Check every half hour after the first hour, and remove when potatoes are tender. Cool to room temperature. Remove the skins and place in a food processor. Pulse several times until the stringy bits are smooth, and place in a large bowl.
Increase oven temperature to 350°F, and prepare your pie crust in a 9" pie pan.
In the large bowl with your sweet potatoes, mix in the butter, lemon juice, spices, and salt. Separate the eggs into two different bowls. Beat the yolks and the sugar together vigorously for about a minute and then add to the sweet potato mixture until fully incorporated. Beat the whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks and set aside.
Add the flour and the buttermilk to the sweet potato mixture, alternating until everything is fully incorporated. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula until well combined and pour into a 9" pie shell.
Place pie in the middle rack of a preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes and check for doneness. The crust should be golden brown and the center should be set. If the crust is browning too quickly, loosely cover the pie with a sheet of aluminum foil.
When the pie is done, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.