Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

I love pies, don't you?  Cakes are okay too, don't get me wrong.  But biting into a pie is like taking your mouth to a party!  The textures, tastes and contrasts make it a very popular desert option on most menus.

Holidays in my childhood home meant pies.  Usually apple and pumpkin for Thanksgiving, pumpkin and mincemeat for Christmas.  My father's mother even got her nickname from her popular rendition of the stuff - Nanny Pumpkins.

With all that history behind me, you'd think I'd be gearing up to make the traditional desert too.
Usually I do make at least pumpkin.   Mincemeat is usually a vegetarian version - recipe coming soon!
Jack had even asked about pumpkin pie.  We talked about it.  I was even planning on making it.
But did I?
As fate would have it, I'd completely forgotten to get pumpkin, canned or otherwise, during the holiday food shopping trip.  I did however have an overabundance of Beauregard Red yams and even a few cans of Princella's in the guess what kind of pie got made?

Having covered pie crusts in a previous blog entry, I'll skip all but a few important details.
1) Make sure everything is cold - water, flour, shortening, salt......bowl and rolling pin too!
2) Spread waxed paper over your rolling surface - clean up is a lot easier!
3) Don't overwork the dough!  Let it rest in the fridge between steps!
4) Don't add all the liquid at once!  Watch for subtle changes as you mix!

Once your dough is prepped, let it rest in the fridge before rolling it into the pie pan.

Cooked yams in the bowl
Rather than boiling the yams, I wash them, score them with a knife and microwave them.  Depending on how many you're using (four being the minimum), cooking time (on HIGH setting) could be anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes.  Good rule of thumb is to check after 10 minutes.

Oh! Make sure you have enough piecrust for 2 pies!

Once the sweets are done, scoop out their innards into a bowl and let them cool slightly.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place a cookie sheet on the shelf being used for baking, this will help cut down on spill-over.

Hand mixing the yams
NOTE: Due to yam's fibery nature, I've found it better to use a food processor rather than a hand mixer for making this pie. But if you don't have one, mix it a lot and check the texture often!

2 cups cooked sweet potatoes or 1 1/2 can cooked sweet potatoes
2 eggs well beaten
1 1/4 cup milk (or liquid from canned sweets with 3 1/2 Tablespoons of powdered milk blended into it)
2 teaspoons bourbon
3/4 cups brown sugar (or 2/4 cups brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar)
1/4 teaspoon salt o substitutes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 Tablespoons melted butter

Bourbon, milk and eggs
Food processor
Combine all ingredients in the food processor if you have one. Otherwise, put the yams in a mixing bowl and have at it! Hand mixing may take about five minutes or so. Food processor at high setting may take about three to four minutes.  Check the texture.  If it's still a little "stringy," process it for an additional two minutes.  That should take care of it.

Place pie crust in pan and pour this mixture into it.  This mixture is enough for two pies, so prepare two shells.
Once the pies are poured, place them on the cookie sheet in the oven.  My oven is wide enough to fit both pies on one shelf.  If yours is not, use two shelves or-even better-cook one pie at a time.

Let the pie bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees then immediately lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake it for an additional 50 minutes.  Then its done! Let cool on a wire rack for a bit...if you can wait that long!
Time for pie!

Please feel free to share your ideas, memories and recipes on this site via the comments box.  All credit will be given where it is due...and I promise to try the recipes too!

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