Our challenge this month was to lighten up a recipe in a cookbook we own. The catch was, the recipe had to be located on a page that had any combination of the numbers 2, 0, 1, and 6. I own A LOT of cookbooks, but the one I go to the most is a book called “Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family” by Art Smith.
Art Smith was the chef for Oprah, okay, now you know who he is. This is one of my favorite cookbooks, because the food is simple, easy to make, and delicious. It has a bit of everything. If I ever wrote a cookbook, I would model it off of this one. I highly suggest it.
On page 206, there is a sweet little recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Pie. Art mentions in this recipe that any southern cook worth their salt has a recipe for sweet potato pie. Well, now I do too.
The original recipe called for a hefty buttery crust and 1.25 cups of sugar and 3 Tablespoons of butter in the pie. I knew that I wanted the consistency of a pumpkin pie, so immediately I cut out the extra butter. I have an amazing pie crust recipe, but it’s not the healthiest, so I thought I could cut that recipe in half. What that did was give me a lighter, but still flaky and buttery crust – everybody wins.
Another modification I made was to cut the sugar. Sweet potatoes already have natural sugars, so I thought I could get away with cutting a lot of the sugar out. The original recipe called for 1 cup of granulated and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I subbed in 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Result? Golden perfection.
I also make a few minor changes, like substituting orange juice for the original lemon juice in the recipe, and altering the spices to make it easier on me.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. And the final test? My 10 year old who “hates sweet potatoes!”. She loved it.
- 1 pie crust - recipe below
- 2 cups cooked and pureed sweet potatoes
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup half and half
- 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- sweetened whip cream (optional)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured board or countertop large enough to fit your pie dish and go up the sides - the dough will be thin
- Place dough in pie dish
- Add all ingredients - sweet potatoes through salt - to a large bowl and mix with a stand or hand mixer
- Mix just until the ingredients are combined and smooth
- Pour into pie dish fitted with the pie crust dough
- Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven
- Turn the oven temp down to 325°F
- Bake for another 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges of the pie crust are golden brown
- Cool completely and serve with whipped cream
- In a small food processor, add butter, flour and salt
- Process until the mixture is crumbly
- Drizzle in water, starting with 1 Tablespoon and then slowly adding the next until the dough starts to ball up
- When it balls up, it's done
- Remove from the food processor and wrap in plastic wrap
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum and up to 2 days.