This recipe for Southern pie by Felicity Cloake owes its name to its rich, dark cocoa base and chocolate custard, topped with a rum mousse and a cloud of whipped cream. Pure indulgence, Dixie style.
- Oreo biscuits 24, (just shy of 2 packets)
- unsalted butter 55g, melted
- whole milk 500ml
- eggs 4, separated
- golden caster sugar 225g
- cornflour 4 tsp
- fine salt 1/4 tsp
- dark chocolate 75g, finely chopped, plus a little extra to top
- leaf gelatine 6 sheets
- golden or dark rum 1 tbsp
- vanilla extract 1 tsp
- ground nutmeg 1/8 tsp
- double cream 250ml
- icing sugar 2 tbsp
Kcals643 Fat38.1g Saturates22g Carbs63g Sugars52.2g Fibre2.4g Protein9.5g Salt0.8g
- onions 3 large, grated
- coconut butter 100g
- dried chilli flakes a pinch
- sage a small bunch, chopped
- vac-packed cooked, peeled chestnuts 180g, chopped
- white breadcrumbs 100g
- ready-to-eat dried apricots 50g, chopped
- cranberry sauce 4 tbsp
- sweet potatoes 400g, peeled
- butternut squash 400g, peeled
Kcals406 Fat12.3g Saturates10g Carbs60.9g Sugars29.1g Fibre12.6g Protein6.5g Salt0.3g
This easy, Halloween-inspired recipe can be made ahead and served later as a scary-good party dessert.
Total: 55 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 6 hand pies
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed if frozen
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Roll out 1 pie crust on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to form a rectangle about 9 inches by 12 inches. Square off the crust with a knife, reserving the scraps for decorating. Cut the pie crust into 6 equal rectangles, each about 3 inches by 6 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roll out the other pie crust to the same thickness as the first. Cut into thin strips about 1/4 inch wide and 7 inches long. Repeat with the reserved dough scraps. Transfer the strips to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling to the center of each rectangular crust. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the filling, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edges.
- Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the pies with the egg wash. Layer the strips of dough, varying the angle of each strip to create a “mummy” look. Seal the edges with a fork and use a paring knife to trim the overhang. Lightly brush the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash. Add 2 raisins to each hand pie for the eyes. ‘
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through for even color, until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a baking rack slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Serve as is or decorate with a simple icing. Combine the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water. Stir until smooth and glossy. Transfer the icing to a resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner. Pipe the icing onto the hand pies using the stripes of pie crust as a guide. Serve.
Delicious, sweet and fruity pud, great served with cream or ice cream – make the case with bought pastry
500g pack shortcrust pastry at room temperature, thawed if frozen
8 ripe figs, stalks trimmed
finely grated zest and juice of one large juicy orange
1 tbsp clear honey
200g softened butter
200g golden caster sugar
200g packet ground almonds
2 medium egg yolks
1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a shallow loose-bottomed 25cm flan tin. Make sure the pastry comes above the rim – it may shrink in baking and the filling could spill. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut the figs in half lengthways and sit them cut side up on a roasting tray. Mix the orange juice and honey in a bowl, pour over the figs and roast for 10-12 minutes until just soft. Drain off any juice into a saucepan and reserve.
3. Prick the base of the chilled pastry case all over with a fork, then line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to fan 130C/conventional 150C/ gas 2. Leave the pastry case to cool slightly before filling.
4. Cream butter and sugar in a food processor or with an electric beater until smooth and pale. Tip in the ground almonds and zest and whizz briefly to combine. Add egg yolks and 1 tbsp of the reserved fig juice and whizz again until smooth. Spread evenly over the pastry case.
5. Gently press the figs cut side up into the almond mixture. Bake for 11⁄4 hours or until it’s golden all over (don’t worry if the centre still seems soft – a little gooeyness is good). Leave in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove sides and transfer on its base to a wire rack to cool.
6. Before serving, take the tart off its base and transfer to a flat platter or board. If you have juice left from roasting the figs, bring it to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sticky and syrupy. Brush this over the figs and serve as soon as possible, while the syrup is still glossy on the figs (it will start to seep through into the filling if you leave it too long).
Every 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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
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.