Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

I made this pie for the first time last year, when I saw it posted on one of my very favorite food blogs Josh and the children detest sweet potatoes, due to the fact they are abnormal people-and will not touch this pie. Therefore, I take it upon myself to eat it all-and luckily, sweet potatoes are extremely healthful. If you and your family happen to be normal people, you will really enjoy this mix of flavors-it's a great alternative to pumpkin pie if you're looking for something a little different.

Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

1 cup (4 ounces) pecan halves
9 whole graham crackers, broken
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I used only 2 tsp. because I'm not a huge fan of ginger)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Four 8-ounce sweet potatoes
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a pie plate, toast the pecans for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and browned. Let the nuts cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the pecans, graham crackers, ginger, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon; pulse until crumbs form. Add the butter and process until incorporated. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate. Bake the crust for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Using a rubber spatula, press down the crust and let cool completely. Wipe out the processor.

Place potatoes in pot cover with water. Boil sweet potatoes until soft, about 30-40 minutes. Peel and let cool. You should have about 2 1/4 cups.
Transfer the sweet potato to the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the brown sugar and eggs; process until blended. Add the heavy cream and process again, just until incorporated. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for about 50 minutes, until set and the top looks dry; cover the crust edges with foil if they darken. Let the pie cool completely. Preheat the broiler.
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat without stirring until a candy thermometer inserted in the syrup registers 240°, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. With the machine on, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff, glossy and warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
Mound the meringue over the sweet potato filling, swirling it decoratively. Broil the pie 4 to 6 inches from the heat for about 30 seconds, until the meringue is lightly browned. Cut the pie into wedges and serve.

If you're in need of some ideas for Thanksgiving dishes, here are some links to the recipes my family and I will be making this year (*all photos are from the original blog/website):

Kate's Turkey from Our Best Bites blog

Emeril's Boston Bibb Salad with Roasted Squash, Pecans, Bleu Cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
I will tell you- this photo is a little strange, and does no justice to the deliciousness of this salad-I crave it all year long!

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

The Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes

Emeril's Chocolate Cream Pie

Honey-Pecan Pumpkin Pie  from epicurious

The Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Friends-and in the wise words of Paula Deen, "Let's gain some WEIGHT this weekend!"

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