This Southern favorite is an antidote to pumpkin overdose
November is typically Pumpkin-Flavored Everything Month. But if you’re a Southern boy like me, your taste may run more in the sweet potato vein. Sweet potato pie is one of my go-to Thanksgiving desserts for a couple of reasons: First, I’m not a fan of canned pumpkin, so you better hit me with the real thing. Second, it’s Pumpkin-Flavored Everything Month.
To keep your friends and family from overdosing on pumpkin, change things up a little with this Southern classic.
Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel
Yields: One 9-inch pie (8 servings) Use your own dough recipe or a pre-made frozen crust if you prefer.
For pie dough:
11⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons very cold water
For the Pecan Streusel:
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the filling:
1 large garnet yam 12-14 ounces
3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
11⁄4 cups heavy cream
To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse corn meal, with butter pieces no larger than peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together. Transfer to a work surface, pat into a ball, and flatten into a disk.
This recipe does not need to be chilled and can be rolled out at this point. To prevent sticking, make sure to keep the dough lightly dusted with flour while it’s being rolled out.
Fold the dough round in half and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold and ease into pan, patting it firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Trim edges so you have a 3⁄4-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and pinch it together to create a high edge on the pan’s rim. Flute the edge decoratively. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 F.
Remove crust from refrigerator or freezer. Line with a sheet of aluminum or parchment paper large enough to overhang the sides, patting it into the bottom and up and over the sides of the dough.
Cover the bottom with a generous layer of long grain rice or dried beans. The rice or beans prevent bubbling and shrinkage. Partially bake for 20 minutes, then lift edge of foil and check crust. If it looks wet, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes, until dough is pale gold.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
To make the streusel, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Set aside.
To make the filling, prick the yam several times with a fork and place directly on the oven rack. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 55 minutes. Let cool and then peel the yam and mash the pulp. Measure out 1 cup for the filling and save the rest for another use.
In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt and eggs. Add the spices and mix well. Stir in the yam purée and cream and beat until smooth. Pour into the pie shell.
Bake until the filling is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly sprinkle the streusel evenly over the surface and continue baking until firm in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
Slice into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.