Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year, but for many people, it’s all about the sweet potato. This is especially true when it comes to pies.
A warm, slice of sweet potato pie is the perfect finish to a holiday meal. And sweet potatoes are not only good to you, but also good for you. For starters, they’re rich in vitamins A and C, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics points out.
Since nutritionists and other health experts recommend moderation over deprivation, it’s OK to make dessert the splurge of choice every now and then. Here’s a recipe for sweet potato pie that’s slightly modified to make it a tad healthier. We know that all bets are off for the holidays, but we thought we’d try. A little bit. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
2 pounds fresh sweet potatoes
½ stick butter
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Dash of anise
¾ cup low-fat evaporated milk or your favorite milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons rum, preferably Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti (optional)
Preheat oven to 385 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the sweet potatoes and boil until tender. (Don’t remove skin; otherwise they will absorb the water and become mushy.) While potatoes are still hot, carefully peel and place in a medium-size bowl with butter or margarine. Use a potato masher to soften. Stir in sugars and spices. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in mil, vanilla and rum if desired. Pour evenly into two pie crusts. (See following recipe.) Bake on middle rack for 30 to 40 minutes, or until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Serve warm. Yield: 16 slices.
Double Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
5 tablespoons ice water
Mix the flour and salt in a medium-size bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until lumps begin to form. Sprinkle in water a tablespoon at a time or as needed, mixing with a fork until the mixture becomes dough. Avoid over-handling. Divide dough in half, shape into two balls, and flatten each into a disk on a lightly floured surface. Your hands and the rolling pin should be lightly floured for best results. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thickness, roughly 1 to 2 inches wider than an inverted pie pan. Carefully fold into quarters, and unfold evenly in pie pan. Flute or crimp edges if desired. (You can also trim dough evenly along the edge of the pan and use the tines of a fork to form depressions.) Fill and bake as directed in the preceding recipe. Yield: 2 crusts.
Both recipes adapted from Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist by Greg Morrison and Yanick Rice Lamb (Random House/Three Rivers Press)