Rumor has it that the mighty cupcake is losing favor and pie popularity is surging. I’m not sure I’m down with the idea of certain sweets going in and out of fashion, but I’m a big fan of making room for everyone. Especially when it comes to desserts.
Today, though, for one day, I’m okay with favoring pie. It is, after all, National Pie Day. That’s right; a holiday all about pie! According to holidayinsights.com, it’s a day for baking pies, sharing pies and trying new pie recipes. And hey! I’ve got a new recipe for you right here!
I first made this Sweet Potato Pie for Christmas just this year. It’s one of those rare recipes that hit the perfect note the very first time I attempted it, and I doubt I’ll ever stray from this version. I’m just going to put all modesty aside and declare it pretty much perfection.
While, yes, I generally welcome all desserts, I guess I do have to admit that in the battle of Sweet Potato Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie, I stand clearly on the side of the former. Sweet Potato Pie has finer, silkier, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a depth of flavor that has pumpkin beat by a mile.
This Sweet Potato Pie recipe in particular is made with finely pureed sweet potatoes pecked with a pinch of spices and a liberal scrape of tiny little magical vanilla beans. A touch of Maker’s Mark adds another note; all the better because it’s a Southern one. And Sweet Potato Pie is nothing if not Southern.
So how about giving it a try (with a little homemade whipped cream, natch)? It won’t make you forget cupcakes (what would?!) but it’ll certainly give you a whole new appreciation for pie.
Oh, and here comes the disclaimer:
I’m still not confident I can make a pie crust worth eating, and time is hard to come by for me these days. So I bought the crust for this pie. I know! Shameful! I need to add “learn how to make the perfect pie crust” to my list of things to do in 2011. Along with “no more procrastinating” – if I ever get around to making the list, that is.
Here, nonetheless, is the recipe!
Vanilla Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie
- 3 - 4 large sweet potatoes (ultimately resulting in 2 1/2 cups puree)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Maker's Mark or other bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 9- inch unbaked pie crust or your favorite homemade pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Form unbaked pie crust into pie dish. Do something cool with the edge of the crust to make yourself feel better about not making the crust yourself. Oh wait, that was just me.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut each into 3 or 4 large chunks.
- Place potatoes in a large pan of boiling water. Boil for 20 - 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- With a slotted spoon, remove potato chunks from the water, letting as much water drain off the potatoes as possible. Place the chunks in a food processor.
- Process the cooked potato in the food processor until completely smooth.
- In a large bowl with a wire whisk, combine 2 1/2 cups of the puree, sugar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, milk, seeds from the vanilla bean, bourbon, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Pour filling into the pie crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes, or until the pie is set and a sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool completely, then serve with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream.