Thursday, September 8, 2011

Edna Lewis' Sweet Potato Pie

This semester I am taking a course on Soul Food, in text, as text. So far the class has been an interesting exploration of soul food and African American cooking in the United States. For a class assignment I decided to make a Sweet Potato Pie using the recipe from Edna Lewis' The Taste of Country Cooking. I had never before had a Sweet Potato Pie, probably because I was raised in California, so of course I have never baked one. It was a great experience through which I learned a lot about the process of making this pie as well as the history behind Sweet Potato Pie as well as the recipe from Edna Lewis.

When I tasted the finished pie I couldn't believe how tasty it was. The filling was light and fluffy. I was afraid the filling would have been too sweet but the nutmeg and the cinnamon shone through brilliantly. I'm excited to make this pie again and share it with friends and family.

Note: I only used the pie filling from this cookbook. The pie crust is adapted from Smitten Kitchen because butter is better.

Sweet Potato Pie Filling
2 cups mashed and sieved sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 small or medium eggs separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter melted over hot water
1-2/3 cups milk at room tempature

This makes enough filling for two 10" or three 7" pies

In a mixing bowl, combine sieved sweet potatoes, sugar, spices, salt, beaten yolks, vanilla and melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Add the milk and stir well. Beat the whites of the eggs to the frothy stage and stir them into the batter. Pour the batter into pastry lined pie pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough
From Smitten Kitchen

Makes enough dough for one double-, or two single-crust pies.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold


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  3. The advantage of Lewis's crust, if I remember correctly, is that it does not need a blind bake