It struck me a few weeks back that I have completely ignored one very important and tasty pie. Sweet Potato. I love sweet potato pie, and have baked many, but have neglected to devote a Pie Day post to it until today. As soon as my brain began churning up images and recipes for sweet potato pie, a wide range of sweet potato pairings came to mind. I promise to post a classic sweet potato pie recipe at some point, but for now, please indulge some experimentation.
(ok-actually, I had lots of combos buzzing around in my head, but we happened to have a bowl of pears on the counter, and I am always an opportunist when it comes to my kitchen)
To change up the usual puree,
I caramelized the sweet potatoes.
First peeling, halving and blanching
the sweet potatoes in boiling water....
...then cutting them into small wedges.
Pears were also peeled and cut into thin slices.
Caramelizing the sweet potatoes drapes them in this lovely, gooey, sugary coat.
Adding some almonds to the mix of sweet and fruit ups the complexity of the final taste.
A quick mix of toasted ground almonds,
a hint of vanilla, and an egg yolk for binding
creates a perfect base for the pie.
It gets layered first into the unbaked crust.
The sliced pears are layered over that.
And finally, the caramelized sweet potatoes
are spooned on top.
A rustic finish to the crust
(fancy speak for flopping it over)
provides a peek of the vibrant color inside.
The finished pie looks perfectly browned and tempting.
A slice reveals the rich layers of almond, pear and sweet potato.
This recipe is quite on the savory side. It would be divine served in slivers with a cheese course and prosecco or port for an elegant dessert. As I was baking this one, I was already developing notes for a sweeter version. Look for that in a future Pie Day post!
Caramelized Sweet Potato Pie with Pear and Almond
single 10" pie crust
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in half
3 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 T lemon juice
1/8 t salt
1 cup toasted almonds
1 egg, separated
1/2 t vanilla paste (or pure vanilla extract)
To caramelize sweet potatoes:
-combine butter and brown sugar in large skillet
-heat on medium until butter and sugar are melted
-add lemon juice, stirring to combine
-add sweet potato slices, stirring to coat with sugar mixture
-cook on medium high heat, stirring often, until mixture thickens and
sweet potatoes are coated. about 18-20 minutes
-remove from heat
To make almond layer:
-layer one cup almonds on baking sheet
-toast at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned
-place in food processor
-add vanilla paste and egg yolk
-process until almonds are finely ground
To assemble pie:
-spoon almond mixture onto unbaked bottom pie crust, spreading evenly
-layer sliced pears over the almond mixture
-layer caramelized sweet potatoes on top of all
-fold and tuck crust up and over filling
-bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes
(c) copyright Pies and Aprons
March 2, 2012