Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
This past weekend, I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving. And there was a lot to be thankful for: a fantastic year with family and friends, a weekend of beautiful weather, and sweet potatoes. Yes indeed: sweet potatoes!
You see, I spent the better part of my evenings last week meeting up with friends over meals. Grocery stores were off my radar. And woe for that, because when it comes to that Thanksgiving staple, the canned pumpkin often used in pumpkin pie, it seems that when you snooze, you lose.
So when I made it to the grocery store on Saturday, later than expected due to a spontaneous adventure on Edmonton’s High Level Bridge Street Car, unsurprisingly, the pumpkin was gone. So I went elsewhere: no luck. I called around. Again, no dice.
And so, I turned to sweet potatoes. Infinitely easier to find than canned pumpkin (as in, they’re everywhere!) and super-simple to prepare, sweet potatoes produce a pie that’s almost identical in flavour to the classic pumpkin. Success!
I toted the pie along on Sunday as my Canadian contribution to a truly global Thanksgiving (think mashed potatoes and cranberries alongside pasta primavera, stuffed mushrooms and Chinese dumplings). Served with spiced whipped cream and shared with friends, it was a happy end to a very happy meal.
Moral of the story? Don’t leave things to the last minute. But if you do, there are always sweet potatoes.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!
Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from epicurious.com
Makes 1 9-inch pie
1.25 lbs sweet potatoes (I used one giant sweet potato)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell (this recipe is my go-to for pie crust!)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut potatoes in half if large (as in, if you’re just using one) and prick with a fork. Place in a baking dish skin-side down and bake for 75 minutes or until very tender. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Scoop flesh out into a large bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees farenheit.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar and stir until combined. Add sugar mixture, eggs and milk to mashed sweet potatoes and whisk until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutgmet and salt and whisk again until smooth.
3. Pour filling into an unbaked pie shell* and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until the centre of the pie is just set (it shouldn’t be wobbly). Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Serve with spiced whipped cream (recipe below)!
*Next time, I’ll likely bake the pie shell for 10-15 minutes in the 400 degree oven, just to give the pastry a bit of extra time to crisp up. If you go this route too, make sure you prick a few holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to give the hot air generated in the oven room to escape (otherwise you’ll end up with a wonky-shaped crust). To be on the extra-safe side, you can also line the raw shell with tinfoil and fill it with pie weights or raw rice before baking. The weight of the weights/rice will help keep the shell in place during the pre-bake.
Spiced Whipped Cream
Makes about 2 cups of whipped cream
1 cup whipping (35%) cream
2 tbsp icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
In a medium bowl, whip cream on high with an electric mixer (or whisk, if you’re braver and stronger than I) until fluffy, but not yet holding soft peaks. Add sugar, cinnamon and ginger and mix again until fully incorporated and cream is holding soft peaks. And that’s it!