Debbie Dance Uhrig
This past week has been quite a ride in the weather department. Felt like we went from short sleeves and sunshine to parkas, gloves and insulated bibs!
You know what they say about Missouri? If you don’t like the weather just give it a couple of hours. I hate to confess that I adore the cold weather and bundling up to keep warm.
Last week I promised I was going to run my apple kuchen this week. Well yours truly came home and left the recipe at the office. It’s not enough that I’ve made it several times in the past few weeks. Don’t fret, you will not be disappointed with the sweet potato pecan pie. This recipe will definitely give you something ‘new’ for the fall season or Thanksgiving.
The biggest lesson learned from this recipe is that different species of sweet potatoes can certainly change the outcome of a pie. One morning while baking this pie the pecans did not raise to the top of the pie. Instead they were at the bottom. On this particular day we had noticed how very firm and dense the potatoes were after cooking. If you ever find the meal extremely thick and rather dry you may need to add a bit of water to the potato pulp.
It’s important to note that in most grocery stores you will not find any true ‘yams’. Unfortunately many people confuse the sweet potato and yam. Often they think that ‘yam’ is just another name for the sweet potato, wrong!
In order to find a true yam you would have to shop in an international market.
Approximately 95% of all yams are grown in Africa and the remaining are harvested in Asia. Many many years ago when African Americans came to this country they referred to the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes as a yam. Because it was soft like the yams from Africa. In Africa alone there are like 600 different yam species. There are two styles of sweet potatoes in the US, those with a firm pulp and those with a soft pulp. I am guessing that when I had a problem with my pie it was because I got ahold of the ‘firm’ sweet potato.
As you are becoming aware, the terms ‘sweet potato’ and ‘yam’ are often intertwined. If I’ve scratched your curiosity just a little bit, then keep digging. Wait until you study the yam and sweet potato species and learn how they come from totally different families!
I’m looking forward to making a couple batches of stewed apples tomorrow. It will be so tasty when winter arrives, as my dad, Jerry, always says. This time they happen to be McIntosh apples from up north! Since my friends arrived this past week from Minnesota I now have a nice supply of Wild Rice! Special thanks to Willis and Irene for the recent rice delivery & mouthwatering apples.
Enjoy my pie recipe, I serve it up with a nice poof of whipped cream.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
2 large wrapped and baked sweet potatoes
(For recipe remove skin and mash pulp until smooth.)
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Before making the pie:
Wash sweet potatoes; wrap in aluminum foil to bake, in a 350 degree oven.* The size of the potato will determine the baking time; usually this will be around an hour. Allow potatoes to cool slightly before removing skin and mashing the pulp.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If time, pre-bake crust, (blind baking) in 400 degree oven. Be careful to protect outer crust edge. Bake for 9-10 minutes and remove.
Mix filling ingredients in the order presented. When you reach the mashed sweet potato stir the flour into the potato before adding to remainder of pie interior. Lastly add pecans and fill pre-baked crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes then reduce to 325 for 30-40 more minutes. When a thin knife is inserted in the center it should come out clean. Several times I also baked this pie at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes before turning back the heat. This method worked quite successfully.
Options: Adding fresh grated orange zest.
*After making this pie for several weeks I determined microwaving was a better route. Rationale: The potatoes often dripped in the oven making quite a mess.
Before placing in the microwave prick with a knife and cook for about 10 minutes to start.