This week’s research led me to an American recipe printed in 1870…
…an old fashioned version of sweet potato pie. Here’s the result:
Step 1: Make ‘Oat Shortcrust Pastry’
Rub together 125g plain flour, 55g porridge oats, a pinch of salt and 85g of cold diced butter until the butter is all incorporated and the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 whisked egg and 1 tbsp cold water and form the mix into a rough ball. Cover and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins. (recipe from allrecipes.com)
Carefully roll the pastry into a rough circle a few inches wider than the base of your tin (I used a small fluted quiche/ tart tin like the one pictured above), drape over the tin and gently ease it into the corners until the bottom and sides are fully lined. Any tears can easily be patched up! I baked mine blind for around 10 minutes (although could have done it for another 5-10) at 160°C in a fan oven: 180°C/ Gas 4.
Step 2: Prepare the sweet potato ‘custard’
- two medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- 8oz golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Peel, roughly chop and boil the sweet potatoes until tender (around 10 mins). Drain and mash well. Thoroughly mix in the other ingredients (leaving the eggs until last so that the mix is cooler and doesn’t start cooking them). Gently pour the mix into the half-baked pastry case and bake for another 30-40 minutes until set.
Step 3: Eat…
The rim of the pastry was pretty crumbly to cut but overall gave a pleasing rustic look.
The pie tasted very sweet so I had my first slice with some rich natural yoghurt to balance it out.
I will definitely try this again (rude not to in the autumn!) but will spice it up further with some grated nutmeg and maybe even a touch of cayenne pepper.