Sweet Potato Pie – Old Fashioned Comfort Food

Every year at Thanksgsweet potato pieiving 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:

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

1  Cup butter – softened

4  Cups Sugar

1 Can Evaporated Milk 12oz.

1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

6  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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Snowball Cookies – Without Nuts

Snowball Cookies – Without Nuts

Snowball Cookies are also called Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes. What I love the most of these cookies is the texture and the fluffiness, not too sweet powdered sugar coating. My mother baked snowballs during Christmas, New Year and other special occasions.

Snowballs comfort me whenever I’m sad, my mom gave me those when I’m upset and crying. It makes me feel better and happy.

This is my version of Snowball Cookies also called Mexican Wedding Cookies and also called Russian Tea Cakes. Enjoy!!!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups butter “2 sticks”, soft. I used salted

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar

+ 2 cups powdered sugar (for coating)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix butter & powdered sugar together using a large mixing bowl and add in vanilla extract.

Add the flour & mix until soft dough ball formed.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls & place on ungreased cookie sheet (I used a nonstick baking mat).

Bake for about 9 minutes or until cookies are set but not brown.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes then roll in a bowl of powdered sugar.

Place on cooling rack to cool and roll in powdered sugar again.

Serve,

Share with your family and friends,

Enjoy!!!

Snowball Cookies - Without Nuts
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Snowball Cookies - Without Nuts
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix butter & powdered sugar together using a large mixing bowl and add in vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour & mixed until soft dough ball formed.
  4. Roll the dough into 1" balls & place on ungreased cookie sheet (I used a nonstick baking mat).
  5. Bake for about 9 minutes or until cookies are set but not brown.
  6. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes then roll in a bowl of powdered sugar.
  7. Place on cooling rack to cool and roll in powdered sugar again.
  8. Serve,
  9. Share with your family and friends,
  10. Enjoy!!!
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Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes

Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes

Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes

We are always looking for egg, dairy & nut  free recipes for my grandson Jett.  He has many allergies making finding treats he can have a problem.

Here is a recipe I found from Sweet Little Bluebird, it’s called Crazy Cake.  It uses no eggs, dairy, or nuts. She mixes and bakes it in an 8″ square pan, really easy! She has adapted the recipe to make different flavor cakes.

I used the basic chocolate cake recipe, but made cupcakes instead. Obviously I had to mix it in a bowl to make cupcakes, but the steps are the same, I just had an extra item to wash.   The recipe will make a dozen cupcakes.  You can frost the cupcake with Oh She Glows‘ 2 ingredient fudge frosting that’s also dairy free.

When making this cake it’s important to strictly follow the directions.  Ingredients must be added exactly as described for it to work.  I don’t know how it works, but incredibly it does.  The cupcakes turned out moist and yummy!

Here’s the recipe!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp.  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Liquid Ingredients:

1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water

Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes

Directions:  You must follow them exactly

1.  Place the 5 dry ingredients in a bowl.

2.  Mix them well.

3.  Make 3 indentations in the four mixture.  2 small, 1 large.

4.  Place the vinegar and vanilla in the 2 small indentations and the oil in the large one.

5.  Pour the water over all of it.

6.  Mix until smooth.

7.  Spoon into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  (I use a toothpick to test for doneness)

Cool completely.  Frost cooled cupcakes if you like.  Click here for Oh She Glows’ 2 ingredient chocolate fudge frosting.

I make these cupcakes specially for Jett, but the family loves them too!   To keep them I freeze the cupcakes in ziplock freezer bags and thaw them out and frost as needed.

Thanks to Sweet Little Bluebird for this awesome recipe!

Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Cupcakes 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Cupcakes 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Egg, Dairy & Nut Free Crazy Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 Cupcakes 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 Cupcakes 15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Place the 5 dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix them well.
  3. Make 3 indentations in the four mixture. 2 small, 1 large.
  4. Place the vinegar and vanilla in the 2 small indentations and the oil in the large one.
  5. Pour the water over all of it.
  6. Mix until smooth.
  7. Spoon into cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners and bake for 28-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. (I use a toothpick to test for doneness)
  8. Cool completely. Frost cooled cupcakes if you like.
Recipe Notes

I make these cupcakes specially for Jett, but the family loves them too! To keep them I freeze the cupcakes in ziplock freezer bags and thaw them out and frost as needed.

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Espasol – A Filipino Signature Dish!

Espasol – A Filipino Signature Dish!

Espasol, It is a type of rice cake that is made of rice flour and cooked in coconut milk then rolled with toasted rice flour and usually shaped into small cylinders then wrapped with paper. This unique Filipino treat was originated from the Province of Laguna, Philippines and is available in bus stops and pasalubong stores.

There are many kinds of rice cake recipes and treats, almost all have the same concepts but Espasol is a is distinguished not only for having glutinous sticky rice as a main flour, but also for being finished with a little bit of dusting of rice flour. This is my recipe version of Espasol. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

4 cups glutinous rice flour (malagkit)

4 cups coconut milk

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups sugar

 

Directions:

Toast rice flour in a skillet over medium heat then stir frequently, for about 25 to 35 mins. or until color turns pale gold and aroma becomes nutty. Set aside ½ cup for rolling espasol.

Combine coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt and sugar in a wide pan over medium heat.

Bring to a boil, stir frequently until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Slowly add 3-1/2 cups of the toasted rice flour, stir regularly to prevent lumps.

Lower heat and continue to cook, stirring and turning regularly, for about 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture is very sticky and becomes oily.

Transfer mixture onto a flat surface and dusted with the remaining toasted flour.

Roll and flatten mixture to about ¼-inch thick using a rolling pin.

Cut espasol into strips with a lightly-greased knife.

Roll espasol on toasted flour until fully coated using your clean hands then shake to rid of excess flour and wrap each piece in banana leaves or in a Japanese paper.

Serve with family and friends,

Share and Enjoy!!!

Espasol - A Filipino Signature Dish!
Print Recipe
Cook Time Passive Time
20 mins. 80 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
20 mins. 80 mins.
Espasol - A Filipino Signature Dish!
Print Recipe
Cook Time Passive Time
20 mins. 80 mins.
Cook Time Passive Time
20 mins. 80 mins.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Toast rice flour in a skillet over medium heat then stir frequently, for about 25 to 35 mins. or until color turns pale gold and aroma becomes nutty. Set aside ½ cup for rolling espasol.
  2. Combine coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt and sugar in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, stir frequently until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  4. Slowly add 3-1/2 cups of the toasted rice flour, stir regularly to prevent lumps.
  5. Lower heat and continue to cook, stirring and turning regularly, for about 35 to 45 minutes or until mixture is very sticky and becomes oily.
  6. Transfer mixture onto a flat surface and dusted with the remaining toasted flour.
  7. Roll and flatten mixture to about ¼-inch thick using a rolling pin.
  8. Cut espasol into strips with a lightly-greased knife.
  9. Roll espasol on toasted flour until fully coated using your clean hands then shake to rid of excess flour and wrap each piece in banana leaves or in a Japanese paper.
  10. Serve with family and friends,
  11. Share and Enjoy!!!
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Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe!

Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe!

Crema de Fruta is another popular Filipino dessert that usually consists of sponge cake topped in succeeding layers of custard cream, fruits and gelatine. This dessert is usually served during Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Festival, Birthdays and Etc.

It’s a delicious recipe that leaves no leftovers during celebrations and still makes your crave for more and more. Today I will give you my version of Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 large can fruit cocktail, 30 ++ ounces

2 tbsp. unflavored gelatin

4 cups milk

8 pcs. egg yolks

1 tsp. baking powder

⅓ cup butter

1½ cup flour

1½ tsp. vanilla extract

1¾ cups sugar

2¼ cups water

 

Directions:

Sponge Cake Procedure:

Sift the baking powder and 1 cup flour using a flour sifter. Set aside

Add the 4 egg yolks in a mixing bowl and then beat until the texture becomes thick.

Add-in ½ cup sugar gradually while beating the eggs.

Slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture then mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Combine the 1 cup milk, butter, and vanilla extract in a pan and cook until butter melts.

Pour the cooked mixture milk, butter, vanilla extract into the mixing bowl and mix with the existing concoction until evenly distributed.

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour the combined mixtures in a baking pan then bake for 23 minutes or until sponge cake is ready.

Set aside.

Syrup Procedure:

Heat a saucepan and placing ¼ cup sugar.

Add ¼ cup of water immediately and cook until the sugar completely dissolves then let cool for a few minutes.

Pour the simple syrup on top of the sponge cake and then spread using a brush.

Custard Procedure:

Combine ½ cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 3 cups milk in a pan then cook while stirring until the mixture thickens.

Add half of the cooked mixture on the bowl where the 4 egg yolks are placed, then mix well.

Put everything back in the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.

Mix until texture is thick enough “this is now the custard”.

Apply the layer of custard evenly on top of the Sponge cake.

Final Procedure:

Drain the liquid concentrate from the fruit cocktail and set aside.

Arrange all the fruits on top of the custard layer.

Make sure to place them evenly.

Dilute the gelatin in 2 cups of water.

Heat the saucepan then pour the diluted gelatin and fruit cocktail concentrate and bring to a boil.

Immediately after boiling, turn off the heat, let cool down until temperature is a little above normal for a room temperature.

Pour the gelatin mixture on top of the fruit cocktail layer.

Refrigerate overnight.

Serve for dessert,

Share and Enjoy!

Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 29 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 29 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 55 minutes
Crema de Fruta Filipino Style Recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 29 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 29 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 55 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Sponge Cake Procedure:
  1. Sift the baking powder and 1 cup flour using a flour sifter. Set aside
  2. Add the 4 egg yolks in a mixing bowl and then beat until the texture becomes thick.
  3. Add-in ½ cup sugar gradually while beating the eggs.
  4. Slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder mixture then mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Combine the 1 cup milk, butter, and vanilla extract in a pan and cook until butter melts.
  6. Pour the cooked mixture milk, butter, vanilla extract into the mixing bowl and mix with the existing concoction until evenly distributed.
  7. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Pour the combined mixtures in a baking pan then bake for 23 minutes or until sponge cake is ready.
  9. Set aside.
Syrup Procedure:
  1. Heat a saucepan and placing ¼ cup sugar.
  2. Add ¼ cup of water immediately and cook until the sugar completely dissolves then let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Pour the simple syrup on top of the sponge cake and then spread using a brush.
Custard Procedure:
  1. Combine ½ cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 3 cups milk in a pan then cook while stirring until the mixture thickens.
  2. Add half of the cooked mixture on the bowl where the 4 egg yolks are placed, then mix well.
  3. Put everything back in the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Mix until texture is thick enough “this is now the custard”.
  5. Apply the layer of custard evenly on top of the Sponge cake.
Final Procedure:
  1. Drain the liquid concentrate from the fruit cocktail and set aside.
  2. Arrange all the fruits on top of the custard layer.
  3. Make sure to place them evenly.
  4. Dilute the gelatin in 2 cups of water.
  5. Heat the saucepan then pour the diluted gelatin and fruit cocktail concentrate and bring to a boil.
  6. Immediately after boiling, turn off the heat, let cool down until temperature is a little above normal for a room temperature.
  7. Pour the gelatin mixture on top of the fruit cocktail layer
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Serve for dessert,
  10. Share and Enjoy!
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