Sweet Potato Pie – Old Fashioned Comfort Food

sweet potato pieEvery year at Thanksgiving I like to try something new to add to our Thanksgiving dinner menu.  If we like it then it becomes a permanent addition to our traditional meal.

This year my grandson Dion and I decided to try our had at a Southern Thanksgiving meal staple, Sweet Potato Pie.  I’ve never actually had Sweet Potato Pie, but Dion loves it.  He says it’s his favorite pie, specially the way his grandmother from Atlanta makes it.

Sweet Potato Pie is a Southern specialty that can be served instead of or beside the traditional Pumpkin Pie which graces just about everyone’s Thanksgiving dessert table.

So we searched online for a Sweet Potato Pie recipe; we found hundreds!  Each one touting that it was the best of course.  Well we experimented with a couple of different recipes and relied on Dion’s recollections of watching his Southern grandma make her pies.  In the end by tweaking and patching several recipes together we ended up with our own version which turned out quite nicely if I do say so myself.

We’ll share our version of Sweet Potato Pie below, but before we do here are a few things we learned along the way.  It might help you out and save you from making the same mistakes we made.

  1.  Use fresh yams!  Not canned yams preserved in sweet syrup!  Don’t get me started on this, just ask yourself, would your granny use canned yams?  I doubt it!
  2. Use Large RED Yams.  Not white yams, or purple yams, or Okinawan sweet potato.  Just plain old Red Yams!  And before you ask, yes there are many varieties of yams and sweet potatoes in the markets.  So don’t get fancy, keep it simple, RED Yams.
  3. Bake your yams DO NOT boil them!  This saves you from peeling and chopping raw yams.  BTW have you ever tried peeling and chopping raw yams or sweet potatoes?  No?  Well let me tell you peeling and chopping wood might just be easier!  Most importantly baked yams make a better pie filling, it’s not mushy or watery like boiled yams can be.  And you can bake yams for your Sweet Potato Pie up to a week before you actually make your pie.  Still not convinced or it sounds too tedious?  Remember even though it takes an hour to bake the yams it’s actually a hands off hour so you can do something else like making applesauce, doing laundry, or relaxing in the tub.
  4. Baking yams – Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you’re ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.
  5. Just like Pumpkin and pecan pies, a Sweet Potato Pie is considered a custard pie; hence it must have some form of milk or cream.  There are recipes out there that call for milk, cream, or half-and-half; but since it’s a truly Southern specialty you should use canned evaporated milk.  That’s what they used in the Southern states.  Trust me on this you’ll end up with a creamier and smoother Sweet Potato Pie when you use canned evaporated milk.
  6. When you bake your pie pay close attention to the timer.  Test pie before removing from oven.  First nudge the pie – the center of the pie should be slightly softer than the rest of the pie so that it jiggles a bit when nudged.  Then insert a knife or a toothpick at the center – it should come out clean but moist.
  7. Let baked pie stand for about 30 minutes before cutting it.  This will firm it up so sliced don’t fall apart.  Better yet refrigerate the pie overnight then remove from fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it warms up to room temperature.  I like my custard pies cool I feel it brings out the sweetness.

Having said that here’s our recipe:

Ingredients:

3 Large Red Yams – Baked & Mashed to yield 2 cups (see tips for baking instructions)

1/2 Cup butter – softened

2 Cups Sugar

1 Can Evaporated Milk 12oz.

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

3 eggs – beaten

1 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon

2 Unbaked deep dish pie shells – homemade or frozen

Proceedure:

Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.

Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.

Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.

Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.

Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.

 

Sweet Potato Pie
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Sweet Potato Pie
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients until well blended.
  2. Stir in Vanilla, Eggs, and Cinnamon.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pie shells.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until filling is set and/or tester comes out clean but moist.
  5. Let stand at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  6. Garnish and serve with whipped cream if desired.
Recipe Notes

Baking yams - Place 3 large yams (you wash them first of course) on a parchment covered baking sheet and pop them in a 375° oven.  Bake for 1 hour then remove from oven.  If you are using it to make Sweet Potato Pie right away peel off the skin and mash the yams to make 2 cups of mashed yams then follow the rest of the recipe to make the pie.  If you baked the yams in advance you can either mash it then store the mashed yams in the fridge in an airtight container or place the whole unpeeled yams in a ziplock and refrigerate until you're ready to mash them for your Sweet Potato Pie.

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Grilled Apple Crisp

Grilled Apple Crisp

The first time I tasted this old-fashioned apple crisp, I couldn’t believe it was made on the grill. Topped with a scoop of ice cream, the warm heartwarming dessert will earn you rave reviews.

Perfect for camping or tailgating, a grilled apple crisp in a foil pack is a deliciously simple and portable version of the classic. I want to love camping.  I really do. I love the idea of settling in around a blazing fire, toasting a couple of marshmallows on the perfect stick until gooey and charred. Coffee in a metal pot. Fried eggs in a cast iron skillet nestled into the coals. Sounds perfect! 

That is until the reality of it all kicks in. The  hot suffocating tent in the morning. Showers and toilets (or the lack thereof).  And don’t even get me started on  wildlife, specially things that are creepy crawly.

This Grilled Apple Crisp recipe is great for  camping aficionados and non capers.  And with the fall rolling around, it would also make a great sweet alternative for your tailgate. If you’re a little more adventurous than me, mix up the oat topping in advance, grab a few apples and some foil and pack it for your next excursion. But trust me, this homey dessert tastes just as good sitting comfortably at my kitchen table. Or if I’m feeling particularly outdoorsy, my picnic table. Enjoy!

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Here’s a recipe for Grilled Apple Crisp

Ingredients

10 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 8 medium)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

1. Place the apple slices on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 24×12 in.). In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
2. Fold foil around apple mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 381 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 77g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 6g fiber), 3g protein.

 

 

Grilled Apple Crisp
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Grilled Apple Crisp
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LECHE FLAN WITH CREAM CHEESE

LECHE FLAN WITH CREAM CHEESE

 

Leche flan with cream cheese  is my family’s all time favorite dessert. Every time we’re together, this decadent dish topped with the sleek caramel is such a delight to the eyes and to the palate.

Leche Flan is a very traditional Filipino treat, very much like a Creme Caramel only sweeter and denser.  It’s a rich and creamy custard made with evaporated and condensed milks,egg yolks, and sugar.  The addition of cream cheese takes this standard Filipino sweet to a different level.

The sugar is caramelized in a pan on the stovetop then set aside to chill for a bit. The rest of the ingredients are mixed and subsequently poured over the hardened sugar then steamed for one hour and twenty minutes. This creamy and dense dish with caramel glaze is overwhelmingly delicious. Indulge!

Just click here for the recipe of  leche flan with cream cheese

INGREDIENTS
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can (370 ml) evaporated milk
1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place sugar in a 5X9 inch loaf pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved and caramel in color. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine and process eggs, cream cheese, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place it in another, larger, shallow baking pan and set it in the middle shelf of the oven. Pour enough hot water in the bigger pan to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
Bake for l hour and 20 minutes or until top is set. Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating for several hours or overnight. Run a clean knife around the edge before inverting onto a serving plate.
Serve and enjoy!

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THE FILIPINO SWEET DESERT LECHE FLAN WITH CREAM CHEESE
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THE FILIPINO SWEET DESERT LECHE FLAN WITH CREAM CHEESE
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Our Favorite Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert

Our Favorite Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert

 

 

Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert – I can’t get enough of this cathedral window jelly after.

This jelly dessert consists of cubed colored gelatin embedded in a creamy mold. My family usually serves this during the holidays, hence the red, and green gelatin. However it doesn’t mean you can’t have it the rest of the year. I used a silicone polymer pan however you will use any mold you prefer.

Here’s a recipe from Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert.

INGREDIENTS
Colored Gelatin
1 (3oz/85g) box of strawberry jelly powder
1 (3oz/85g) box of lime jelly powder
1 (3oz/85g) box of lemon or mango jelly powder
1 cup boiling water per 3 oz box
⅓ cup cold water per 3 oz box
Cream Jelly
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup condensed milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
3 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
1 cup boiling water

INSTRUCTIONS

1.In three separate mixing bowls, completely dissolve the contents of each envelope of flavored jelly powder in 1 cup boiling water. Stir in ⅓ cup cold water to each. Transfer each gelatin flavor in square or rectangular containers and refrigerate until they set. Cut the flavored gelatin into cubes and arrange in your preferred jelly molds (I used a silicone bundt pan).
2.In a medium bowl, combine pineapple juice, condensed milk, heavy cream, sugar and salt. Stir with wire whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
3.In another mixing bowl, combine 1½ cup water and 3 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder. Stir until the powder completely dissolves. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.Gently add 1 cup boiling water to the gelatin mixture then continue stirring until the mixture is clear.
4.Pour the gelatin mixture into the milk mixture, whisking until well incorporated. Pour this gelatin-milk mixture evenly over the jelly cubes in the mold. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5.To serve, turn the jelly dessert out onto a serving plate.

 

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Our Favorite Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert
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Our Favorite Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert
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Frozen Desserts “Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt”

Frozen Desserts “Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt”

 

 

Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt- Every time I see a mango, I think about the tropics. I think about long, lazy days of swimming, napping in the sun and enjoying eating mango lassi frozen yogurt. I think about full days without any screen time at all.

I love fruit that has some acidity to copy yogurt’s natural tang. And that I continually use the ripest, most contemporary fruit I will notice. Therefore the bolder your fruit, the better. As for proportions, the recipes here vary from one to 2 components dairy product to 1 a part of beverage or purée, richer fruit want less sugar than skinny juices like orange.

Click here for Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Ingredients

3 ripe medium-sized mangoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups full-fat plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest from 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions
1.
Purée mangoes in blender or food processor on high for 30 seconds until smooth. Strain and measure out 1 1/2 cups of purée; reserve remainder for another use.

2.
In a medium bowl, whisk mango purée, yogurt, sugar, and lime zest until well combined and the sugar doesn’t feel gritty anymore. Add lime juice in 1/2 teaspoon increments and kosher salt in 1/4 teaspoon increments, tasting frequently. Mixture should be a little tart with a hint of saltiness.

3.
If mangoes started at room temperature, chill mixture in refrigerator for 1 hour until cold. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer frozen yogurt to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.

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Frozen Desserts "Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt"
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Frozen Desserts "Mango Lassi Frozen Yogurt"
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Kutsinta Filipino Merienda Recipe

Kutsinta Filipino Merienda Recipe

 

Kutsinta or kuchinta – If you’re thinking of creating one thing for merienda , do this Kutsinta or kuchinta or perhaps rice cake. It therefore delicious and I’m sure you’ll love.

Here’s the recipe for the best,and easiest Kutsinta or kuchinta.

 

Ingredients :

  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. lye (lihiya) water, for cooking
  • grated fresh coconut

 

Cooking Procedures :

  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Let cool. Add to flour, stir until smooth. Add lye water (lihiya) and mix well.
  2. Boil some water in the steamer. Stir flour mixture to recombine.
  3. Fill greased small muffin pans 3/4 full with mixture. Steam for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool before removing from pans.
  4. Before refilling molds for a second batch, stir batter very well because the flour tends to settle at the bottom and may cause thekutsinta to be too soft or soggy on top. Do this before refilling each batch of molds.
  5. Loosen sides of molds with spatula before unmolding kutsintaonto plate. Serve with grated fresh coconut sprinkled on top. Do not substitute packaged coconut flakes for freshly grated coconut for this recipe.
  6. This recipe may also be steamed in an 8″ square casserole for 30-45 minutes, unmold onto serving plate and cut into squares or diamond shapes.
  7. Makes 10pcs of Kutsinta.
Colorless lye water for cooking (lihiya) is sold in small bottles in Asian food stores. It is used in suman sa lihiya which are usually wrapped in banana leaves and insapin-sapin, the multi-layered and muti-colored rice cake. Frozen banana leaves and even fresh ones are now available in Filipino food stores.
                       
Here’s a recipe from filipinorecipesite I’m sure you’ll love. Click here for recipe.
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Filipino Merienda Recipes
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Filipino Merienda Recipes
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