Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grandma's Sweet Potato Pie

My father's mother didn't like to cook. When she did cook, it always came out good, but she didn't really like to do it. She had a full time job outside of the home, and she had to go all the way across Indianapolis to get to work (either in a ride share on a bus). It makes sense that she didn’t always come home filled with energy to cook up a big meal.

Everyone agrees she made delicious fried chicken (not too greasy), and cooked up a great cup of coffee. On Fridays the special treat was either cold cuts for dinner. Everyone in my father’s family loves sweets, and my grandmother was known for her sweet potato pie. None of her children were particularly into baking, so my mom (her daughter-in-law) was the one ended up learning the family recipe for sweet potato pie. It's a required item for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whenever we visit my father's relatives we have to bring one.

This sweet potato pie isn’t sweet like candy, and there are never marshmallows on top.

1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes (see note at end)
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted
2/3 c. milk

One 10” deep dish pie pan lined with a raw pie crust. If you have smaller pie pans, this may make enough for two pies.

Heat the oven to 400°

Using a hand mixer or a whisk and some muscles, beat the eggs and sugar together in large mixing bowl. Beat in the mashed sweet potatoes. Add the rest of ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined. The contents of the mixing bowl will be quite liquidy, but don’t worry.

Pour into the pie plate. (gluten free pie crust recipe). Bake for 10 minutes at 400°, then lower the oven to 350° and bake for 35 minutes. When you take the pie out of the oven, it will still be a little jiggly. That’s OK. It will coast to solidness out of the oven.

Note Use 4-5 small sweet potatoes or 2-3 medium size ones. The small ones with a reddish tint to the skin are delicious (sometimes they’re labeled garnet sweet potatoes). Big sweet potatoes tend to be woody and less flavorful. My mom boils them whole in the skin, lets them cool and then peels and mashes. Alton Brown suggests peeling and slicing the sweet potatoes and then steaming them. I’ve sometimes baked the sweet potato in the oven. Honestly, the pie is always delicious so cook them whatever way you want

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