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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel
Sweet potatoes are the edible roots of a plant in the morning glory family. Some have tan skin and pale yellow flesh and a dry, fluffy texture when cooked, similar to that of a regular potato. Others have dark reddish or purplish skin and deep orange flesh and a soft, moist texture when cooked. The latter are sweeter and are known in the United States as yams, although they are not true yams, which belong to a different species and are rarely available in the United States. Both types of sweet potatoes can be used for this recipe, although the yam, particularly the Garnet yam, is preferred.

Ingredients:

  • 1 rolled-out basic pie dough round (see related
      recipe at right)

For the pecan streusel:

  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 1 large Garnet yam (orange-fleshed sweet
      potato), 12 to 14 oz.
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • Sweetened whipped cream for serving

Directions:

Fold the dough round in half and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold and ease into the pan, patting it firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Using kitchen shears, trim the edge of the dough round, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and pinch it together to create a high edge on the pans rim. Flute the edge decoratively.

Refrigerate or freeze the pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes, until the dough is pale gold, for a total baking time of 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

To make the pecan streusel, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Set aside.

To make the filling, prick the yam several times with a fork, put directly on the oven rack and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 55 minutes. Alternatively, cook the yam in the microwave on high heat until tender, about 6 minutes per side. Set aside to cool. Peel the cooled yam and mash the pulp with a fork or puree in a food processor until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of the puree for the filling. (Reserve any remaining yam for another use.)

In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt and eggs. Add the cinnamon, ginger and allspice and mix well. Stir in the yam puree and cream and beat until smooth. Pour into the partially baked pie shell.

Bake until the filling is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven, quickly sprinkle the pecan streusel evenly over the surface, and continue baking until the filling is slightly risen and firm in the middle, 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Slice the pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pie & Tart, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2003).