Maple-Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pies are part of the Southern tradition in Southwestern cookery, as are meringue-topped pies and pecan pies. This combination of all three is spectacular.
- Pie Shell
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons, at room temperature
- All-Purpose Flour - 1-1/2 cups, unbleached
- Sugar - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Ice Water - 2 tablespoons
- Maple-Pecan Filling
- Eggs - 3
- Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon, melted
- Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
- Maple Syrup - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Whole Pecans - 1 cup
- Sweet Potato Topping
- Sweet potatoes - 1/4 pound, peeled and quartered (about 1-1/2 cups)
- Ginger - pinch of ground ginger
- Cinnamon - pinch of ground cinnamon
- Cloves - pinch of ground cloves
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Egg White - 1
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Whipped cream for garnish
To make the pie shell: Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until it has the consistency of fine meal. Sprinkle on the sugar. Beat the egg yolk with the ice water. Sprinkle the liquid over the developing pastry and lightly blend together. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface and pat into a 10-inch pie pan. Price with a fork and return to the refrigerator to chill while the filling is made.
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Beat all the filling ingredients together except the pecans and blend well. Cover the pastry shell evenly with the pecans and pour in the filling. Bake 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before continuing.
To prepare the topping: Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well. In a mixing bowl, whip the potatoes and spices until almost smooth; it should be just slightly lumpy. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In another bowl, beat the egg white on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar. Beat until the meringue is stiff. Fold the meringue into the chilled sweet potato mixture and spread on top of the pie. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for at least 1-1/2 hours, but not more than 6 hours.
To serve: Slice into wedges and place one on each serving plate. Garnish with whipped cream.