Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Revisited

Thanksgiving is about being thankful for everything—but i am extra-thankful for all my family and friends who will be enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner with us.  I know they love the High Roast Turkey which has never failed to please and traditionally the Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.  This time around, i have changed the method but not the recipe to this Sweet Potato Pecan Pie and used a Tart mold instead of the Pie dish.  Before i share the new method, I would like to wish all my readers and their family a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING.


Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp chilled vegetable shortening
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4 - 5 tbsp ice water


Put flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combined.

Add in the chilled shortening and pulse until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand.

Scatter the cold butter cubes over the flour mixture, pulse the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas.

Turn the mixture into a large bowl and sprinkle 3 - 4 tbsp ice water over the mixture and using a spatula, fold the mixture  by pressing down on the dough until the dough sticks together, add 1 more tbsp of ice water if dough does not come together.

Flatten the dough into a 4 inch disk, put it in a one gallon zip-loc bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After 30 minutes or 1 hr, remove dough disk from the fridge and if it is too hard to roll, use the rolling pin to bang on the dough until pliable.  Use the scissor to cut the two sides of the zip-loc bag, dust lightly some flour over the dough, front and back.  Roll the dough disk in-between the opened zip-loc bag to about 2 inches larger than the base of the tart mold.  Place the base of tart mold in the center of rolled out dough and flip dough onto the base by turning over, then remove the zip-loc bag.  Fold in gently, the sides of the excess 2 inches dough to fit the base of tart mold.  Place this dough back to the tart mold ring and unfold the excess dough.  Mold the sides neatly to fit and remove the excess dough,  Dock the base of tart dough with a fork.  Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge at lease 30 minutes to 1 hr or until ready to bake.

WHEN READY TO BAKE,  arrange oven rack to lower middle and preheat oven 375 f.  When you start preheating, put the pecan pieces onto a baking sheet and in the oven.  Toasting should take about for 7 minutes but the nuts should be watched carefully and stirred from time to time to prevent burning.  While the nuts are toasting,  put pie weights (beans or rice on top of aluminium foil or a aluminium pie pan) or like me, i just use a heavy cake pan on top of tart.  Bake 20 minutes until the dough looks dry and is light in color.  Remove weights or cake pan and continue to brown the tart for another 5 - 6 minutes.

While the tart base is baking, prepare the filling and topping.


1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 - 3 baked sweet potatoes(mashed - 1 cup)
1 large egg
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp whipping cream
1 tbsp softened butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp bourbon(optional)


Whisk the eggs with sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.  stir in bourbon if using, whipping cream and vanilla.  Add in the mashed sweet potato and mix to combine.

WHEN THE TART IS BROWNED, LOWER the oven to 350 f and arrange oven rack to middle of oven.  Remove tart from the oven and sprinkle the 1/4 cup of light brown sugar on to the hot tart, then top with the sweet potato mixture.  Spread and level the sweet potato mixture and put tart back in bake for 10 minutes.


1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of cinnamon
3/4 cup pecan pieces(chop only when it is cooled from toasting)
1/2 cup of whole roasted pecan for decor

WHILE  THE TART IS BAKING,  melt the butter in a heatproof bowl set in a skillet of water maintained at just below a simmer.  Remove bowl from skillet, stir in the sugar and salt until butter is absorbed.  Beat in the eggs, then the corn syrup, cinnamon and vanilla.  Return the bowl to hot water and stir until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130 f on an instant read thermometer.  Remove from heat and stir in the pecan pieces.

REMOVE TART FROM OVEN AND LOWER oven temperature to 275 f.  Pour the pecan topping onto the sweet potato filling and put back to bake for 20 minutes until the top is hardened slightly.  Remove tart from oven and arrange whole pecans around the tart.  Return to oven and continue to bake for another 20 minutes until cooked.

Transfer the tart to a cake rack for cooling and when it is cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours.  When tart is frozen, remove plastic wrap and using a very sharp knife, cut the pie into wedges.  Assemble the wedges back neatly and leave in the freezer until ready to serve.  Tart has to be brought back to room temperature before serving with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.


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