Drunken Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

pieA pecan walks into a bar, orders a shot of Jim Beam and jumps into the glass. The bartender looks at it, shakes his head and says “You’re nuts.”

This has got to be the best sweet potato pie I have ever tasted. It combines a pecan pie topping made from bourbon soaked pecans atop a creamy, spicy, sweet potato filling. I infuse the cooked yams with cinnamon sticks just after baking to give it an earthy cinnamon flavor. It’s lower in fat than most sweet potato pies and not overly sweet.

This recipe works best when the cook is singing along with Ray Charles and James Taylor’s  “Sweet Potato Pie” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzZle2RDzTc

Ingredients:

drunken-pecans

FILLING

3 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, such as Garnet (also called yams)
6 thin cinnamon sticks
3 large eggs
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne

PECAN SOAK
3/4 cup raw pecans halves
3 Tb Jim Beam bourbon

PECAN TOPPING
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, put in just a pinch)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                                                      1 Tb heavy cream

Pour bourbon over pecans and let soak for 3 hours.

Make a single pie crust in a standard 9-inch pie pan or a tart pan and freeze it. Blind bake it just before filling.

Roast pierced sweet potatoes on a  foil-lined cookie sheet at 375° for about 1 ½ hours until very tender when pierced. Half-way through cooking time (45 minutes), turn the yams over.

cinnamon stick in yamI

Immediately after you pull them from the oven, pierce each end of the potatoes and insert a cinnamon stick lengthwise all the way through each end. Cover yams with foil and let cool. You can do this part a day before. Peel potatoes and remove cinnamon sticks. Purée the flesh in a food processor until smooth. Measure 2 cups.

Set oven to 350°. Beat eggs in a mixer until frothy. Pour pecan-infused bourbon from pecan soak into the eggs. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until well blended. The filling will be thick. Pour into a hot pre-baked 9″ pie crust and spread level. Use a pie crust protector or wrap pie rim with 4 strips of foil  to prevent it from burning, and bake pie for 30 minutes.
caramelized-topping

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and heat to boiling. Let boil for just a minute, then turn off heat. Add cream and stir until smooth. Stir in pecans, coating them well with the caramel syrup..

pecans-coated-with-toppingStir in pecans,
Take the pie out of the oven and remove foil from pie crust. Make 2 concentric circles of pecans around the pie. Spoon extra caramel topping over the pecans.

ready for the oven

Continue to bake until center jiggles only slightly when shaken gently, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 2 hours.
Enjoy topped with maple-syrup sweetened whipped cream.

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I am delighted to share my posts for a Thanksgiving feast. I am thankful that you have taken the time to read my posts and perhaps tried out the recipes. Happy Thanksgiving! Roz

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Abuelita Luz’s Camote con leche (Yam Pudding)

fluted pie crust

pie crust

DSC03214Pumpkin Pie

pie slice

Drunken Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

Abuelita Luz’s Camote con leche (Yam Pudding)

My husband Jesús’ grandmother, Luz, made Camote (pronounced ka-MO-te) con leche as a favorite treat for him when he was a kid. He loves it with a glass of cold milk. I call it Yam Jam since that rhymes, but really it is a pudding. I added a bit of nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and a spoonful of maple syrup to Luz’s recipe. I bake the yams to caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness. Smooth and fragrant with spices, this recipe is much lower in sugar than candied yams.

Store yams in a cool dry pantry. Do not refrigerate, as this will lead to a hardcore yam. (I am not talking about porn or zealots here, but a condition in which the outside will soften but the inside will remain hard.)

2 cups mashed garnet yams

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

1 Tb maple syrup

1 cup milk (I use 1 %)

Preheat oven to 450′  Wash yams and stab them several times. Bake in a foil-lined pan with a couple of inches water for an hour or until soft. (The foil makes an easier cleanup). When cool enough, peel them and mash or process in a food processor.

Stir in the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.

This dish is easily made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.