Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

So, it's Christmastime and you're looking for a great recipe for a pie for your Holiday gathering?  Right?  Well, my husband loves this one and I thought I'd share it with you...

...and the Bottom Line is...

Paul Prudhomme, legendary Cajun and Creole chef, has a cookbook that features this wonderful pie so I thought I'd outline the details and let you see for yourself.

Hope it's a hit as it has been in our family!

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Makes one 8-inch pie

Dough: (or can use store bought)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 of a whole egg, vigorously beaten until frothy (reserve the other half for the sweet potato filling)
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 cup all purpose flour

Sweet Potato Filling:
2 to 3 sweet potatoes (or enough to yield 1 cup cooked pulp), baked
1/4 cup, packed, light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 egg, vigorously beaten until frothy (reserved from above)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pecan Pie Syrup:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 small eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup pecan pieces or halves

Chantilly Cream:  (see below for recipe)

For the dough:  Place the softened butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer; beat on high speed until the mixture is creamy.  Add the 1/2 egg and beat 30 seconds.  Add the milk and beat on high speed 2 minutes.  Add the flour and beat on medium speed 5 seconds, then on high speed just until belended, about 5 seconds more (overmixing will produce a tough dough).  Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a 5-inch patty about 1/2 inch think.  Lightly dust the patty with flour and wrap in plastic wrap; refridgerate at least 1 hour, preferrably overnight.  (The dough will last up to one week refridgerated.)

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  Very lightly flour the top of the dough and fold it into quarters.  Carefully place dough in a greased and floured 8-inch round cake pan (1 1/2 inched deep) so that the corner of the folded dough is centered in the pan.  Unfold the dough and arrange it to fit the sides and bottom of the pan;  press firmly in place.  Trim edges.  Refridgerate 15 minutes.

For the sweet potato filling:  Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed of electric mixer until the batter is smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Do not overbeat.  Set aside.

For the pecan pie syrup:  Combine all ingredients except the pecans in a mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly on slow speed of electric mixer until the syrup is opaque, about 1 minute; stir in pecans and set aside.

To assemble:  Spoon the sweet potato filling evenly into the dough-lined cake pan.  Pour the pecan syrup on top.  Bake in a 325 degree oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 3/4 hours.  (Note:  The pecans will rise to the top of the pie during baking.)

Cool and serve with Chantilly Cream.  Store pie at room temperature for the first 24 hours, then (in the unlikely event there is any left (refridgerate).

Chantilly Cream:
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon brandy
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dairy sour cream

Refridgerate a medium-size bowl and beaters until very cold. Combine cream, vanilla, brandy and Grand Marnier in the bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Add the sugar and sour cream and beat on medium just until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Do not overbeat. (Overbeating sill make the cream grainy, which is the first step leading to butter. Once grainy you can't return it to its former consistency, but if this ever happens, enjoy it on toast!)


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Secret is in the Sauce!