What, you say? No pumpkiny goodness? What about the pumpkins?
Later, later. All in good time. For now, we move on to that great southern delicacy, sweet potato pie.
So, I grew up in the Midwest, and although my mom’s side are from Kentucky and I grew up eating plenty of southern-derived dishes, when it came time for Thanksgiving, it was pumpkin pie all the way.
Now that I live in the South, I figured I should give sweet potato pie a try – I mean, how different could it be? Nicole at Baking Bites had posted a recipe recently for Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie that looked terrific, so I gave it a whirl! Notes on what I thought about it after the recipe…
Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie
1 cup cooked, pureed sweet potato
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 9 or 10-inch graham cracker pie crust [I replaced with a regular pie crust, partially pre-baked, using my favorite pie crust recipe. Some day, I'll post that, but not today ]
Preheat oven to 350F.
Press sweet potato puree through a wire strainer to make it as smooth as possible, adding a tablespoon or two of water if you are working with leftover potatoes to make them a bit more pliable.
[note: Nicole had mentioned that it was difficult to get homemade puree as smooth as store-bought, but I cooked it down and then pureed the heck out of it with the immersion blender, my favorite whirly blades of death tool I own, and it was totally smooth, so YMMV]
In the bowl of a mixer, combine all ingredients except the flour and mix until smooth. Add in flour and mix until incorporated.
Place the pie crust on a baking sheet and place baking sheet on the middle rack of a preheated oven. Pour filling into pie crust (it is thin enough that it will slosh if you put it in the pie crust and attempt to carry it over to the oven).
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until pie is set and jiggles only very slightly when the pan is bumped.
Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.
So, I tried a tiny little slice before sending it off to work with Jeff. “Is this how it’s supposed to taste?”, I asked him. He tried a little bit and allowed that, given that he didn’t like sweet potato pie and so hadn’t eaten any in decades, it tasted just like he remembered although the buttermilk gave it a nice tanginess.
The comments from his coworkers seemed to indicate that this was, indeed, a perfectly acceptable representative of the species (in fact, they loved it).
My verdict? Sure isn’t replacing pumpkin pie in this house. It had this weird sort of gummy starchy mouth-feel to it – like you’d made a pie with potatoes. Which we had, really. It made these weird little bubbles on the surface, as well, although they didn’t seem to be related to texture at all. Not sure what was up with that.
The flavor was really nice – the sweet potato and buttermilk played together very nicely, and the crust, as usual, was perfect. But really, not my thing.