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elyse

Sweet Potato Pie

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I have never tasted sweet potato pie. How different is it from pumpkin? I have been looking around at recipes, and I'm finding them many and varied. I'm finding they use a lot of heavy cream. Can I use evaporated milk instead? I just bought a ton at Costco as I use it for my pumpkin.

So? And? Any loved recipes?


Edited by elyse (log)

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the only thing i know about sweet potato pie is the the Bad Livers sing about it in a song called "My Old Man." i'm tempted to try it on the strength of that song, if given the chance.

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the only thing i know about sweet potato pie is the the Bad Livers sing about it in a song called "My Old Man."  i'm tempted to try it on the strength of that song, if given the chance.

Doesn't this post belong on your bio? :biggrin:

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I learned to make sweet potato pie from scratch from an old friend, who learned it from her mother-in-law in Tennessee, who learned it from HER mother, who probably learned it from HER mother. Whew! It's not at all fancy, but it's delicious. I don't have a recipe, unfortunately - it's one of those things you just make without a recipe.

My friend peels, cubes, and then boils sweet potatoes (# depends on how many pies she wants - and extra filling can always be baked w/o a crust in a buttered ramekin). She lets the sweet potatoes drain for a while, mixes them into mush and then adds butter (to taste, which means plenty), cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, a touch of flour and lastly, eggs. She says to put enough of everything so you can taste it all at once. :unsure: Just keep tasting it until it's right. She doesn't taste it after the eggs (about 2/3 per pie) are put in, so she puts those in last. It's a very inexact science, but I have to say I've made the pies this way many times and they've always turned out great. In fact, it gave me courage to fool with a recipe I had for pumpkin cheesecake, and that turned out a lot better from tasting the filling as I went along to get more of a balanced flavor.

Oh! She bakes the pies at 350 F for about an hour.

To the uninitiated, sweet potato pies taste like pumpkin pies. Some people can't tell the difference.

BTW, once I tried this recipe with baked sweet potatoes and somehow the pies seemed too fibrous. Still tasty, but a bit too textured -

I apologize for the lack of recipe and sophistication - you'd have to be pretty brave to just wing it like this! I had a tutor the first time I tried it.

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I don't think sweet potato pies taste that much like pumpkin pies. They are a similar color and have similar spices, but sweet potatoes don't taste the same as pumpkins. I prefer sweet potato pies to pumpkin pies, for whatever that's worth. Elyse, if you're making good sweet potato pies by Thanksgiving, I may buy one from you.

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Elyse:

I AM a fan of sweet potato pie but not of pumpkin. The simple recipe I use (I only make it once a year, but have a couple of friends who always order one for Thanksgiving), is from Marion Cunningham in The Fanny Farmer Cookbook (13th edition), NOT the F.F. Baking Book. A little cinnamon, a little nutmeg and a little rum. And I usually use lovely, orange yams, not the yellowish sweet potatoes, some of which, when pureed, tend to look like baby p**p. Sorry. Not very appetizing -- that's why I don't use them!

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I lived in Panama for four years. We lived in a community with many North Americans that were down there working. These American coworkers came from all over the US.

We got together to celebrate US holidays - July 4th, Thanksgiving, etc.

And my best friend was Gayle - a sweet Georgia girl. I noticed after a couple of years that everytime we had one of these community feasts, she'd say "And I'll bring the pumpkin pie." She was insistant. I don't think anyone else noticed, but I did.

So finally, I said to her, "Why is it so important to you that you always be the one to bring the pumpkin pie?"

And she said, "I don't like pumpkin pie. I like Sweet Potato Pie. I figured out long ago that I can just bring Sweet Potato Pie and no one ever notices the difference. They just think it's pumpkin pie, but better."

So here's the lesson: Some people, maybe even most people, wouldn't notice the difference, especially when they're being told its pumpkin pie.

But other people, most obviously in this story Gayle, certainly do seem to notice the difference.

I like them both. Although of the two, I'd probably agree with Gayle that Sweet Potato Pie is my favorite.

Sweet Potato Pie is the the typical dessert of choice in most African-American run BBQ joints in the South.

I think it's wonderful.

:rolleyes:


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Thanks all for the responses. Ladybug, I may try yours out. No milky product?

Kit, my mom MAY have a FF cookbook. I'll look there too. I like to compile recipes and take elements from this and that.

Costco didn't have sweet potatoes yesterday. :angry:

I'll try it this week!

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Here's my friend Gayle's recipe:

Sweet Potato Pie

2 C mashed, cooked sweet potatoes

1/2 stick butter, room temp

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 C white sugar

1/4 C brown sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

1 small can evap milk

Mash the butter together with the sweet potatoes. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into 9" pastry shell and bake at 375 for approximately 50 minutes, or until center doesn't "jiggle" when moved.

Tip: When selecting the sweet potatoes, I always scrape back a little of the skin to be certain I'm getting those beautiful bright orange ones.

Also, you can add any other flavors you like to this basic recipe - ginger, orange (try a little frozen OJ concentrate) or lemon juice, bourbon, allspice, pineapple.... whatever.

Want to add: in the matter of the pineapple - Sweet Potato Pie purists wouldn't want to add any pineapple that changes the texture - because we like that smooth creaminess.

But my grandmother often added a little pineapple juice that she drained from a can of sweetened pineapple as her secret ingredient.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Thanks all for the responses.  Ladybug, I may try yours out.  No milky product?

Kit, my mom MAY have a FF cookbook.  I'll look there too.  I like to compile recipes and take elements from this and that.

Costco didn't have sweet potatoes yesterday. :angry:

I'll try it this week!

No, no milky products at all. Just for you, I double-checked the notes I made the day my friend showed me how to make the pies. :smile:

Jaymes, 35 minutes seems kind of low. Is it a very thin pie? You didn't mention the size of your pie pan. I love your suggestions of ginger, orange, etc - I'll have to try one of those next time!

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Jaymes, 35 minutes seems kind of low.

:wacko:

Just grabbed the list of ingredients and tried to do the rest from memory.

Whoops.

I'll fix that.

Also, in addition to the "orange," a squeeze of any citrus can really jazz it up. Sometimes I put just a touch of lime or lemon juice in.

For the "orange" flavor, I add a tsp of frozen OJ concentrate.

Oh - and here's another tip from my granny.

While you're beating the mixture, if your sweet potatoes have any long stringy bits, they'll wrap themselves around the beaters.

I actually know some people that push the mixture through a sieve to remove these strings, but my granny just stopped occasionally as she was beating the pie, and took the strings off of the beaters. That worked fine, too.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Sweet potato pie is definitely different from pumpkin pie, the former having a more starchy or glutinous (for want of a better word) texture than the latter. I can certainly tell the difference by taste, even though I use the same recipe for both, the only difference being the use of pumpkin or sweet-potato. (Actually, the choice is to boil and mash or boil and purée the sweet-potato, depending on how rustic a texture you want.)

I like my sweet-potato pie custardy (NOT at all like mashed sweet-potato in a crust!), and my recipe calls for a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk:

SWEET-POTATO PIE

pastry for 9" single-crust pie

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1-3/4 cups boiled and mashed sweet potato

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

Line 9” glass pie-plate with rolled-out dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. Freeze for 30 minutes just before baking.

Position oven-rack at lowest level in oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together sugar, spices, and salt. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour into pie-plate. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover edges of crust to prevent excessive browning. Lower thermostat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or just until metal tester inserted in center of filling comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature. Do not freeze.

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Kit, my mom MAY have a FF cookbook.  I'll look there too.  I like to compile recipes and take elements from this and that.

Elyse:

From Fanny Farmer 13th Edition:

For a 9" pie, Marion uses her "tart dough" which is pate brisee. I usually use flaky pie dough.

2 cups cooked, pureed sweet potatoes (I use yams and bake them instead of boiling)

2 eggs

1-1/4 cups milk (I substitute cream for 1/4 cup of the milk)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 Tbsp. dark rum

2 oz. butter, melted

425F oven. Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into your pastry. Bake for 10 min. at 425F then reduce heat to 300F and bake for 45-60 minutes until filling is firm.

Can't wait to hear what you take from which recipe and what you think of your results!

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Dark rum.

Yum.

I often use bourbon, but dark rum sounds yum.

:rolleyes:

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I am totally excited by this!

I think I will start out with the ones using milk/evaporated milk since I have eight cans or so to use up. :wacko: Sorry, Ladybug! I will definitely try yours though at some point when I'm not trying to free up space. Anyone think it matters if I substitute evaporated milk for regular milk or cream?

I also bought a four pack of sweetened condensed milk. What the hell am I going to do with that? Dulce de leche...!

And thanks so much for transcribing the recipes. Bless. :wub:


Edited by elyse (log)

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Why does everyone boil the sweet potatoes? Wouldn't the flavor stronger -- and the moisture content less -- if you bake them?

And as for the sweetened condensed milk: KEY LIME PIE, what else? :wub::wub:

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Why does everyone boil the sweet potatoes?  Wouldn't the flavor stronger -- and the moisture content less -- if you bake them?

And as for the sweetened condensed milk: KEY LIME PIE, what else?  :wub::wub:

Actually, Suzanne, most recipes call for 2 cups or so of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes so you can cook them however you like. Boiling is faster.

I do bake mine. A long time, until they get all caramely...

Another suggestion for the sweetened condensed milk? Flan.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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I also bake pumpkin and butternut squash for pies, but always with water for moisture- you want the starch wet, that is perhaps why your baked sweet potato pie seemed fiberous, it needed more moisture combined with the starch.

I like both types of pie. My grandmother preferred sweet potato. I think that it has a lot to do with the kind of pumpkin you use (also baked, with water-cut side down). I use sugar pie pumpkins or kabocha. Both are sweet on their own with dense flesh. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are not very good for pies.

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don't confuse your sweetened condensed with evaporated.............

I don't do alot with evaporated, nothing comes to mind.

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I, on the other hand, always have several cans of evaporated milk in the pantry.

I find it gives the extra body and richness of cream to everything -- scrambled eggs, baked goods, creamed soups and vegetables, fruit smoothies -- without the additional fat.

I can think of very little that I don't believe to be better with evap milk rather than regular.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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I second the motion for Key Lime Pie!

Pick up a bottle of Manhattan brand key lime juice and copy the recipe. I also have a great recipe for frozen key lime pie, which I'll post if you wish and if you're okay with using raw eggs (no cook recipe).

I also confess to having a fondness for 7 layer bars, which are sometimes called Magic Cookies. I substitute peanut butter chips for the butterscotch chips and use the coconut and sweetened condensed milk more conservatively than most recipes call for, so the end result isn't as cloyingly sweet.

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Well, I used Jaymes' recipe today, but I screwed it up. I thought my potatoes would equal 2 cups, but I was a half cup short. :sad: Plus, since I already screwed it up I added the l;ast dregs of some pumpkin pie filling I had in the freezer. It was maybe a half cup. BUT the whole thing tasted like pumpkin pie to me. Next week, I'll try it just as it's written.

Sorry, Jaymes! But DAMN that evaporated milk tasted good. I have another product you'd love. More later.

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