Per last night's post and now having done "practice pie" for two separate audiences now, I feel good about sharing this particular recipe. And, unlike some of the previous recipes I've posted, this one is more than just TKTC tweaks. I've adjusted and readjusted and added onto this recipe enough in the past 10 years that this one may be a TKTC Original. I know, I'm pretty excited at the prospect of that as well, hence the practice pie.
Maybe I should be more specific, the crust is not an original. The crust is that tried and true America's Test Kitchen crust that's detailed over at Smitten Kitchen. I have to say, having now made it several times, it's every bit as good as the hype, dependable and easy if you follow the directions. Though not landing on the American Heart Association's list anytime soon...
So now that I have my disclaimer out of the way, let us get to the goods. The very first thing to be done is to buy plenty of sweet potatoes in season. For one pie, four small to medium sweet potatoes will suffice but be sure to get them all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.
Speaking of cooking, the tried and true approach goes like this:
1) Cut sweet potatoes in half.
2) Put in boiling water for 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
3) Let cool. You can refrigerate to speed this process up but it will still be another 40 minutes.
4) Skins will be easily removable so do so and then discard them.
Now in a mixing bowl, I'd do a couple quick rounds with just the sweet potatoes to get a nice, whipped texture. THEN start adding your other ingredients including:
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Just keep mixing and your pie filling will lighten up a little in color and smooth out a bit in texture. To this point, you may notice that the recipe looks at least similar to the crustless version I posted this time last year. Au contraire...this time there is a secret ingredient!
1/3 cup slightly softened cream cheese
Indeed it adds just the right amount of creaminess without overpowering the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. yum.
Again, I know I've not put much into documenting the crust of it all but that's because Smitten's got it in spades. And I'm still pretty bad at rolling an even circle so there. You can pour the filling straight into the crust but you're not quite done yet.
Brown Sugar Topping:
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans (almonds work as well)
Cut in the butter in small pieces until all ingredients form a crumble. Sprinkle over the top of the pie and throw it in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes then TA-DA:
Now it waits patiently for its person to arrive. At which point it will be massacred, microwaved and devoured to the point of groaning stomach ache throughout the day tomorrow and into poll returns in the evening. And I'm hoping we can dance in the living room tomorrow night because what better way to work off an entire sweet potato pie?
Well, yes. There's that too.
PS "New" oven, although it is still something in the neighborhood of 25-30 years old, does seem to cook evenly and does have a drawer on the broiler. We'll take it.