24 November 2010

Sweet Potato Pecan Custard Pie

I started out planning to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, but then I remembered that pecan pies are sweeter than I like, and I couldn't find any recipes that didn't call for corn syrup. So instead I made this sweet potato pie with ground pecans and agave nectar. It's divine!

single-crust pie dough
about 2 pounds of sweet potatoes
2-3 cups of pecan halves
a little over a cup of milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick of butter, softened
zest of one orange
1/2 cup agave nectar
about 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, and allspice
pinch of salt

I can't swear to the accuracy of the amounts on any of the ingredients, but one of the great things about pie is that you don't usually have to be precise when you make the fillings. Here's how to make the pie!

1. Roast the sweet potatoes whole at 400 degrees until soft. Don't pierce any holes in them.

2. Grind up some pecans in a food processor until you have one cup of ground pecans.

3. Remove the sweet potato skins and mash them up with a potato masher or fork. Add the ground pecans and all other ingredients until well combined. My filling was quite a bit thicker than pumpkin pie filling, but you can add more milk if it seems too solid. If you want it really smooth, put it all in a blender or food processor. I didn't bother, and it turned out fine.

4. Roll out your pie dough and put it in a well-greased pie dish. Pour the filling in, trim off the excess dough, and pinch around the edges to make it look nice. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

5. Lightly toast the remaining pecan halves in a pan. After the pie is mostly cooked (around 30 minutes in), take it out and arrange the pecan halves on top. Make a nice pattern! Return the pie to the oven and let it cook until the custard is set and the crust is lightly golden, another 10-20 minutes.

6. Let the pie cool for a bit before cutting into it. Enjoy!

The orange flavor really stood out in this pie, which I thought was a nice contrast to the darker flavors of the spices. I wish I had a picture, because it was a beautiful pie!

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