Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet potato pie, Oh MY!!

I am not much of a baker when it comes to making pies and breads. For some reason I just can not get the hang of it. Either I over mix things or I don't mix it enough. Something always goes wrong.

While I was in Logan's class working, his teacher was reading them a story on how to make a sweet potato pie. After she was done reading she asked Logan if his mom baked pies. Logan then told her to my surprise yes. Then in a joking way she asked him to get his mom to make her a sweet potato pie. I love doing things for the teachers. They work so hard for the kids and need that little extra special thing.

Now here comes the tricky part. I had never baked a pie from scratch. Sara Lee and I are great friends when it comes to pies. But at the time I couldn't just go out and buy a pie. So off to google ville.

After searching I end up find a great and simple pie crust

Printed from COOKS.COM

2 cups Pillsbury All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Whisk or sift together flour and salt until well mixed. Rub shortening into flour with fingertips or cut in using two knives or a pastry blender until mixture has lumps the size of small peas.

Fill a small glass with ice and water. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time, stirring quickly into the flour mixture, using only enough water (5 or 6 tablespoons) for the pastry to come together (mixture will be crumbly).

Divide into two portions, with the larger half being for the bottom of the pie crust. Shape each portion into a 1/2" thick disk shape. Smooth the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out on a lightly floured work surface to a size 1 1/2 inches larger than the pie pan. Fit into pan loosely.

Bake according to directions given in the pie recipe being used.

recipe and an a simple sweet potato filling recipe.
Sweet Potato Pie I


* 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

The crust was light and flaky just like every yummy pie crust should be. I missed the nice butter taste but was happy that it was easy to make and baked up nicely.
The filling was so simple and easy that I can now spout off the recipe with out think twice about it.

I didn't give myself much time to get this pie done. I had 2.5 hours to get it all put together and cooked and in the car to take to the school. If you know anything about baking, it's not a good idea to rush things or to not leave yourself plenty of time. The potatoes alone took 40-50 minutes to boil and become soft. So that didn't leave much time at all for baking which took an 50-60 minutes.

The crust mixed right up and only need to rest for a few minutes before you could work with it. I decided to roll it out and put in the baking dish and go ahead and blind bake it for half the time it called for due the filling saying put in an unbaked pie crust. Worked out amazingly, not one brunt edge and the crust was not tough at all. I took it out to cool and it was time to finish up the filling.

The potatoes were easy to peel and for the most part mashed up nicely. I did have to use a strainer to strain any parts that we not smashed. I was surprised at how easy this all came together and how it made my whole house smell of all the wonderful holiday smells you get. The nice cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla smells filled my whole house and my car and the school hallway and Mrs Dean's classroom.

Down to the wire. It took all but 3 minutes of my time to get all of this done. I quickly took the pie from the oven found a nice towel and tray to put the pie plate on and ran out the door. The pie was still bubbling hot and smelled wonderful.

Arriving at the school and having a hot pie and a sleepy two year old was interesting to say the least. Serenity was slowly waking up from her nap and really wasn't into walking on her own. So I had to balance the pie in one hand and the sleepy Serenity in the other.

I walked into the classroom and Mrs Dean yells out "Oh no you didn't, You really didn't did you." And then as proud as she can's she turns to her wonderful class of Kindergarten's and says Mrs. Holloway made Me a sweet potato pie. They all get excited thinking they were going to get a bite or two. She let them down not so gently by saying "Oh no this is my pie, I'll bring you guys some in the morning."

New mission for the Room mom. Make some very sad children a sweet potato pie so that they could have some too.


What if the pie for the kids were mini's and they were bite size so that there wouldn't be a mess?

Off to figure out a way to do that.


So more pie crust making and enough pie filling to cover making the little mini's and for a pie for Thanksgiving.

The pie crust works beautifully in the muffin tins. Use a small juice cup to get the right size when cutting it out. And a tablespoon to fill each cup. I did blind bake them as well. This time I watched them closely and pulled them out after about 5 minutes. It took half the time to bake the mini pies and they were very tasty. Just the right amount of crust to filling. It was a perfect mix.

I took them into the kids on the next morning and they were so happy. I was given my container back empty.

I wish I would have taken pictures of this whole process. Being in a hurry cloudy my mind and made me forget my camera. It would have been wonderful to have pictures of it all.

To the average baker, don't be scared to bake things you never have before. Try baking things and if you fail no worries just try it again another day. I think now that I have done a pie and it has turned out wonderful I will be doing plenty more of them.



Judi said...

That's fantastic Laurie! I have never made a sweet potato pie, but you've inspired me. Maybe I will try one for our dessert for Christmas brunch to go along with my pumpkin cheesecake.
Pies are hard and a good pie crust is hard to perfect, so good on you. I will never go back to store bought crust (although, I did buy some store bought tart pastries last week to make mini quiches)

Laurie said...

Judi try it out. You will love the end result just as much as I did. I hate buying pre-made stuff, but I often do because I am so worried that it will turn out poorly. Not sure giving a pie to a teacher was a good first experiment but I guess as long as it all worked out in the end.