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Hello Bohm Squad and fellow baking enthusiasts! This week we take on a Southern classic, but with a Bohmtastic twist: Sweet Potato Pie – a classic dessert that has comforted taste buds for generations. If you’ve never had the pleasure of indulging in this southern delight, you’re in for a treat. As a home baker on a mission to make life sweeter one recipe at a time, I couldn’t resist sharing a creation that perfectly embodies the comforting essence of baking – the Pecan Praline Sweet Potato Pie. Baking has been my trusted stress-relief therapy, and this particular recipe has been a new endeavor on my culinary journey. Join me on this adventure as we explore the art of crafting this heavenly pie, promising to elevate your baking life, one slice at a time.
Discovering the Sweet Potato Pie: For those unfamiliar with this delectable dessert, Sweet Potato Pie is a soul-warming Southern tradition. It’s a symphony of creamy, spiced sweet potato filling encased in a flaky pie crust, delivering a comforting hug to your taste buds with each bite. It’s a dessert that embodies the heart of baking – taking simple ingredients and transforming them into something extraordinary.
The Therapeutic Art of Baking: As a home baker, I’ve always found solace in the act of baking. The measured precision, the aromatic promise, and the creative freedom it offers have made it my go-to stress-relief therapy. Baking, to me, is not just about preparing food; it’s about crafting moments of joy and sharing them with loved ones. And this Pecan Praline Sweet Potato Pie recipe has been a soothing companion on this journey.
The Allure of Pecan Praline Topping: What sets this Sweet Potato Pie apart is its crowning glory – the Pecan Praline Topping. It’s a symphony of pecans, brown sugar and butter, all coming together to create a crunchy, caramelized masterpiece that complements the creamy sweet potato filling. It’s the kind of topping that will make you wonder why you haven’t tried Sweet Potato Pie sooner. Then, as a decadent added bonus, that toaste Swiss meringue just takes it right over the top!
Join Me in the Kitchen: I invite you to embark on this baking adventure with me. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice, this recipe promises to be a delightful experience. Together, we’ll create a pie that not only satisfies your taste buds but also warms your heart. Below is step-by-step instructions and tips, as we delve into the art of crafting this heavenly Pecan Praline Sweet Potato Pie. Let’s make your baking life better, one slice at a time.
Pecan Praline Sweet Potato Pie topped with Toasted Meringue
1 hour, 30 minutes
1 hour, 30 minutes
- 9-inch deep dish pie pan
- pie weights, parchment paper
- pie shields or aluminum foil to cover the edges so they don’t burn
- large, medium, and small bowls
- food processor (or you can use a food mill or potato ricer instead)
- if making meringue, you’ll need a stand mixer with a heat proof bowl and a whisk attachment
- Flaky All-Butter Crust: (this recipe makes 2 crusts, save half for another pie!)
- • 3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
- • 2 tablespoons sugar
- • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- • 2½ sticks unsalted butter (283g), chilled
- • 1 cup (227 g) ice water
- Pecan Praline ‘Base’:
- • 1 cup (100 g) chopped pecans
- • 1/3 cup (57 g) light brown sugar
- Sweet Potato Custard:
- • 2 cups (460 g) mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes)
- • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- • 4 large eggs
- • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- • 4 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- • 1 cup (230 g) evaporated milk (or ½ cup whole milk and ½ cup heavy cream)
- • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- For the Pecan Praline Topping:
- • 1 cup (100 g) pecans, chopped
- • ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, melted
- • Pinch of salt
- Toasted Swiss Meringue Topping (or whipped cream instead, optional)
- • 4 large egg whites
- • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- • Pinch kosher salt
- • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Flaky Pie Crust (crust adapted from Claire Saffitz)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Prepare about 1 cup (227g) of ice water and set it aside.
- Add the butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients and toss with your clean hands, separating the pieces and coating them in the flour mixture.
- Use your fingertips to squish the pieces of butter into smaller bits.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and add 2⁄3 cup (158g) of ice water.
- Toss with a fork to distribute the water until you have a clumpy mixture with lots of dry spots.
- Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a clean work surface.
- Use the straight edge of a bench or bowl scraper to chop up the mixture directly on the surface, breaking up the clumps and pieces of butter and periodically using the scraper to toss and push the mixture back into a pile.
- Continue to chop and toss the mixture until it’s broken down into small, uniform pieces with very few floury spots and the butter pieces are no larger than a pea (this process helps you bring the dough together without working it excessively, increasing tenderness).
- Bring the dough together: Push the mixture into a pile and squeeze it with your hands all over so it holds together in large pieces.
- Depending on your brand of butter and flour, the entire mixture might hold together without any dry spots—if that’s the case, skip to the next step.
- If you still have some floury areas, move any large pieces to one side, leaving the dry bits in the pile.
- Drizzle ½ tablespoon of ice water over the floury area, then use the bench scraper in the same chopping motion to evenly distribute the water.
- Squeeze to bring it together, moving the pieces to the side, then repeat with more ice water as needed until no dry flour remains on the surface.
- Stack the dough: Use your hands to pat the dough firmly into a square, then use a floured rolling pin to flatten the square until it’s ¾ inch thick. Pat around the four sides with your hands or the side of the scraper to square off and compact the dough, then use the flat edge of the scraper or a knife to cut the dough in half. Lift one half up (again, using the scraper to help) and place it directly on top of the other. Use the scraper to lift the stack of dough and dust underneath with more flour, then roll over it with the pin to flatten and lengthen it slightly, dusting the top with flour if needed to prevent sticking. Cut the dough in half again, this time crosswise, and stack the halves again.
- Divide and shape the dough: Working quickly, use the scraper to loosen the dough from the surface and dust underneath and on top with more flour, then flatten it with the rolling pin into a long rectangle measuring ¾ inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half crosswise to make 2 equal pieces.
- Round off any corners and press the pieces into a disk shape.
- Wrap and chill the dough: Wrap each piece in plastic or reusable food wrap, air tight.
- Roll over the wrapped pieces with the rolling pin to flatten the dough and force it to fill out the plastic or food wrap (applying this pressure will help prevent cracking later). Chill the pieces until they’re very cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
- (Or, you can use store-bought frozen or ready-to-use dough)
- Par Bake (almost Blind bake) the Crust:
- Roll out (Half) the dough into a 15-inch round (if using a 9-inch deep dish pie pan).
- Line the pie pan and flute or crimp the edges. Return the dish to the refrigerator and let the dough rest and chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) while the pie dough is chilling.
- Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator, dock the dough on the bottom of the pie pan, line it with parchment paper, and fill all the way with pie weights/dry baking beans.
- Place the unbaked pie crust into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Pull it from the oven, remove the parchment paper and pie weights/dry baking beans.
- Put the pie pan back into the oven, cover the edges with foil, and continue baking for 10 – 15 minutes until the bottom is opaque and looks done (not translucent or ‘wet’ looking). Check on it halfway, and pop any bubbles with a fork to release the air.
- Remove from the oven, set aside, and let cool while you make the pie filling.
- Make the Praline Base:
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup chopped pecans and 1/3 cup light brown sugar.
- Pour this mixture into the pre-cooked crust. Set it aside.
- Make the Sweet Potato Filling:
- Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring jug, add eggs, vanilla extract, evaporated milk, and melted butter.
- Pour this into the sweet potato mixture and stir until the ingredients are well combined and smooth.
- Fill the Pie Crust:
- Pour the sweet potato filling into the prepared pie crust, spreading it evenly.
- Bake the Pie:
- Place the pie, using a pie shield or aluminum foil cover the edges and place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the center is set.
- Prepare the Pecan Praline Topping:
- In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped pecans, melted butter, and brown sugar.
- Crumble this over the top of the fully baked sweet potato filling, and then return the pie back to the pre-heated oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the butter and sugar are melted, and the pecans are slightly toasted.
- Remove the pie from the oven, set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Final Touch – Swiss Meringue Topping, toasted:
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer.
- In the bowl of a heat-proof stand mixer, add 4 large egg whites, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Whisk together.
- Place the stand mixer bowl on the simmering water on the stove. (make sure the bowl doesn’t sit in the water), and continuously, but gently, stir the mixture until the egg whites are very warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved – about 4 minutes. Test this by dipping a finger into the mixture and rubbing it between your fingers—the mixture should no longer have any grains of sugar in it and should be very warm to the touch.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the bowl from the simmering water, and place it on your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-low until just frothy. Then, gradually turn up the speed, adding the 2 tsp of vanilla, and whisk until stiff peaks form. When you pull the whisk out and turn it upright, the meringue should have a loopy peak, not floppy. If it’s floppy, keep whisking.
- Once the meringue is done, pile it onto the pie (or pipe in rosettes if you wish), and then lightly torch the edges of the meringue with a kitchen torch.
- Or, skip the Swiss meringue and top the pie with whipped cream.
- Serve and Enjoy!
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