Ain’t She Sweet… Potato Pie!

Goes great with coffee!
Goes great with coffee!

Even though the weather here in Chicago has been all over the place lately, I say it’s still pie season. I’m lucky enough to live in an apartment that’s on the small side, so on days like today, even though its chilly out, I can turn off the heat, fire up the oven, and stay nice and toasty on that residual heat. I decided to make the most of my oven and play around with an old classic of mine, sweet potato pie.

Pie is wonderful! I loooooovvveee pie! And Sweet potato is my favorite. But guess what? I hate pie crust. Okay, before you gasp in horror and question whether or not I have a soul, hear me out. Pie crust is THE trickiest thing to get right. I’ve had pie crust that’s too soggy, too dry, too flaky, you name it. I’ve probably made every incarnation of a bad pie crust. I’ve made some really excellent ones, too. But I think that my favorite pie deserves a crust that goes above and beyond. I think a truly delicious sweet potato pie deserves a chocolate cookie crust.

You heard right!

It’s crispy, crunchy, buttery, sweet, crumbly, and absolutely perfect for the fluffy filling of this pie. Plus, chocolate goes really nicely with sweet potato pie.

I used a recipe for chocolate wafer cookies from Laura’s Sweet Spot. This is a great basic recipe for chocolate wafer cookies in general. These cookies are delicious, and the site recommends using them for an icebox cake– a thing you should totally do if you get the chance!

Of course you can purchase your favorite chocolate wafer cookie at the store and go from there. I don’t normally have the time to bake a huge batch of cookies just so I can use them in other baked things. No shame in taking shortcuts, BUT I guarantee you won’t regret making your own.

Once you’ve got your cookies, toss them in a food processor or a blender. You’re basically going to treat this the way you would a graham cracker pie crust. Hopefully you’ve made (or bought) a lot of cookies because you’re going to need about a cup and a half of the ground cookies. Mix your cookie grounds with some sugar and butter, press it into your pie dish, bake it for a little bit then let that baby cool! You can prep the crust the day before if you don’t feel like slaving away over a hot oven for an entire day.

Now, if you’re making your cookies from scratch, and you don’t like the texture of a crumbly cookie crust, just treat your chocolate cookie dough the same way you would a traditional pie crust. Roll out your dough, fit it to your pie dish, par bake it, and then let it cool. Chocolate pie crust > traditional pie crust, I promise.

So all my local grocery stores do this thing where they carry humongous cans of sweet potatoes, enough to make like five pies from. I never have enough people to make that many pies for, so I’ve started roasting my own sweet potatoes instead of searching all over the city for smaller cans. Feel free to use store-bought, but I’ve found that baking your own sweet potatoes allows you to better control how sweet your pie is, which is kind of nice. If you’ve got the time (and believe me, this is one of the least hands-on elements of this pie), skip the can.

I also like to top my pie with pecans, because why not? If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m deeply invested in my sweet potato pie and I don’t mind taking it over the top. If you want to take this pie even further, you can make caramel from your sweet potatoes (!), and pour it on top of your pie as it cools. Or if caramel isn’t your thing and this pie still isn’t enough of a showstopper, make a meringue and pipe that on top of your pie about halfway through baking (if I’m doing this, I skip the whole layer of pecans, and just sprinkle a few on top of the meringue).

Now invite your friends and family over because you have just made the best pie in the world and everyone needs to know it.

…or just save it for yourself, I won’t tell.

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Ain’t She Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Filling

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1/2 cup water

1 8oz can of evaporated milk

1 egg

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch of ground nutmeg

Enough pecans to cover the surface of your pie (optional)

Chocolate Cookie Crust

1 1/2 cups ground chocolate wafer cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons of butter, melted

Mix your cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together until well combined. Press that mixture into your pie dish (I use a 9 inch pie plate), and bake it at 375 F for about 7 minutes. Let it cool before adding filing.

Roast your sweet potatoes along with 1/2 cup water in a 9×13 baking dish covered with foil for 1 hour at 425 F. Take the foil off and roast uncovered fro another 15 minutes. Let those sweeties cool, too! 

Mix your roasted sweet potatoes with the evaporated milk, sugar, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg until the mixture is smooth. Pour your sweet potato mixture into your pie crust, top with pecans, and bake at 350F for about 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when a knife it toothpick inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean.

Let it cool, then shovel it into your face.

Now ain’t that sweet?

 

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