Sunday, November 21, 2010

put this in your pie hole

For my friend Bonnie, living in the U.K. with no pumpkins in sight; and in honor of my cousin Emily, the famous food blogger, I present to you, awesomely creamy sweet potato pie. 

- two (give or take) garnet yams
- two eggs
- 1.5 cups milk - just ordinary milk
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- healthy splash of vanilla
- 1/5 t salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar

a note on ingredients:
garnet yams: theoretically, as in, per the original recipe, you want 1.5 cups of canned pumpkin. I no longer use pumpkin - I use 'garnet yams'. They pack way more flavor and the texture is creamier. Apparently they are not technically yams - they are a kind of sweet potato. They have red skins, and bright orange flesh. And, 1.5 cups is no fun - go for more. You'll have to eyeball the individual 'yams' and guess how much that is - they tend to be at their smallest, the size of a big fist and a half, and at their largest, maybe two fists big. If I have a good feeling about the size of the yams, I just use 'em and don't bother to measure them out after they are roasted (see below).

pumpkin pie spice: I use a blend I get in bulk at the coop, and you can also buy McCormick's, but oh dear, I imagine neither will work for you. So, according to the google, this is just a mixture of 4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger, 1 part allspice, 1 part nutmeg.

So. Take said yams. Prick each a couple of times with a fork, or risk explosive disaster. Bake on a rimmed tray at ~400 degrees until soft - about 40 minutes. Don't forget the tray - they will leak syrupy goodness which, if it gets on the bottom of your oven, is guaranteed to set off your smoke alarm. Not that I would know.  Let them cool, and remove the skin.

Now combine everything in a food processor. I suppose you could improvise with mashing implements and a blender if you had to - a processor is really the best way, though, because it gets the mixture all fluffy, which is part of the magic. 

Tip: add the milk gradually, not all at once, as this volume of food/liquid is sufficient to leak out the ninja blade's attachment tube (does that make sense? the bit in the bowl that protrudes from the base and has the blade on it) and thence, all over the counter. So only do some of the milk at first, and add it in as you go along, and you should have no problem. Make sure there are no lumps left - this can happen.

Pour this into the crust of your choice, bake at 400 for 15 minutes and about another half hour at 350.

southern white trash crust:
Wash your hands. Combine 1.5 cups of flour, 1/5 t salt, and 1.5 t sugar in the pie dish. Whisk it together. In a separate bowl, whisk together a half cup light veggie oil (light meaning, not extra virgin olive oil or some such) and 2 T cold milk. Pour the oil/milk mixture into the pie pan. Stir it with a spoon until it's mostly all incorporated together. 

Now use your nicely washed hands to completely combine any bits you didn't get with the spoon, and press it into the pan and up the sides til you're happy with how it looks. no need to pre-bake - pour in the filling and you are good to go.

post cooking instructions
1. "let it cool", which means, sit around impatiently for twenty minutes and have your first slice.

2. wait another 45 minutes if you can stand to, and have your second slice.

3. an hour after that, do extra credit duty and have just a wee third sliver.

4. go to bed.

5. get up and go for a run.

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