Welcome Back to Easy Desserts,
I can’t believe where the time is going, we are almost finished with 2017! I’ve been thinking it’s time to try something new. When I was looking through SupaCute’s supplies the other day, I saw they ship more than plastic cups (when I started blogging for them that’s all they had). I landed up finding a kitchen hand torch (something I’ve been wanted to add to my list of baking tools/toys); shortly after my purchase, my mind began to think of all the different kinds of desserts I could make.
As I’ve mentioned autumn and winter baking season is my favorite time of year. Starting in October and going until December the sights and smells of the kitchen make for a magical time of year. After looking the SupaCute’s cups I realized that I haven’t used their Lotus cups yet, so that’s what I’ll be using as we make Mini Sweet Potato Pies, just in time for your Thanksgiving Day feast.
Near the start of my baking journey, I wanted to start making a name for myself through my desserts and make my Nana proud. (She enjoyed my baking and encouraged me to share my creations. Before she passed away, she told me, that she wanted a fun place our family could go to eat my desserts.) I wasn’t sure on how to start and I know I didn’t have the following or money to open my own place. I decided to go to local restaurants she liked going to and see if anyone would be interested in helping me get my start. Sadly, no one was or felt like giving me a chance (I’m self-taught and haven’t taken any culinary classes). On the way home, I drove by the local sports bar and I swear I heard her tell me “try them”. I couldn’t picture a bunch of bikers and bar-goers eating petite parfaits, but I still decided to go for it. As I walked up I could smell some meat getting barbequed and thought ‘maybe full-size desserts might get me in’. Once inside I asked for the owner or head chef the bartender told me the owner was off for the rest of the day and the head cook was the only cook and he was out front next to the smoker. After he came inside, she sent him to me. We talked about my desserts and agreed that most of my desserts belonged in a café with coffee and tea. As I was getting ready to leave and thank him for his time he asked: “What do you know about Southern Cookin’ Girlie?”
“Welp, I suppose if you really want to make a name for yourself and do your grandma right you better start somewhere... Right?”
“Yes, sir, what would you like me to make that would fit this atmosphere?”
“There are 3 desserts I believe would complement my barbeque flavors and they are Sock-It to Me Cake, Coconut Cake, and Sweet Potato Pie. Also if you’re going to be formal with me Mr. Brown is fine and you’ll be my ‘Dessert Girlie (and that is how I got my name)’. Also when you make these desserts, they’ll need to be regular size, not minis.”
The recipe I share with you is a similar version of what I sold to Mr. Brown.
photo assembled by Dessert Girlie
Side Dish or Dessert?:
What makes sweet potatoes so great is they can be a side dish or a dessert. How I’ll be making them would be best as a dessert, but the choice is up to you and how you use them. In doing some quick research I found that …
“Sweet potato pie is a traditional southern dessert, which is often served as side dish.”
photo credit: Pinterest
Sweet Potato Pie History:
In the last few posts I wrote didn’t have much do to with the product I’m cooking, so let’s get back to it, as we take a look on how Sweet Potato Pie found its way to our Thanksgiving tables.
Though creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe, sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days. Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was developed by African-Americans.
Historians suspect that a recipe for “potato pudding” is actually a sweet potato pudding recipe. It appears in the first America cookbook published in 1796, and we have definite sweet potato recipe examples by the 1830s, which would indicate they were pretty entrenched in American culture by that time. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was more commonly classified as a dessert. It’s often served during the American holiday season; especially at Thanksgiving (hence way we are making it now). In many ways, it’s similar to pumpkin pie. Marshmallows are sometimes added as a topping, but this was adopted more in the Northern United States than in the South. It is usually made as a large tart in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, and eggs, flavored with spices such as nutmeg.
Sweet Potato Pie Fun Date:
November 11th is National Sweet Potato Pie Day.
What You’ll Need:
sandies (shortbread cookies)
1 large sweet potato
1 cup milk
1 package unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
mini marshmallows (about 12 -14 per cup)
12 pecan halves
optional – 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon
(if you’re like me and enjoy more cinnamon in your autumn baking feel free to add more)
*has the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger all mixed so no need to list them all out.
In this recipe will be adding a couple French techniques to make our mini pie even taster.
Beurre Noisette: brown butter
Brûlée: burnt or toasted
Place cookies in the food processor and pulse until a crumble is made. Melt some butter* (about 3-4 tablespoons) and mix into the cookie crumble. Stir until well mixed. Add a couple of inches worth of the crumble. Then pack it down to make the crust. Refrigerate until it’s time to add the pie filling.
*If you to give a nutty taste to your cookie crust beurre noisette.
There are many different ways to cook sweet potatoes, so the way I picked was to cube and boil. Before that, though I washed and peeled my tatter. After cooking for 25 to 30 minutes, drain the water and mash the tatter into a puree.
As the tatter finishes cooking, in a small saucepan pour a 1/4 cup of water to dissolve the package of gelatin. Once dissolved add the milk and cook until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat.
In a heat safe bowl, combine the puree, milk mixture, maple syrup, vanilla, and pie spices until well mixed. Pull out the crusts from the refrigerator and pour into each cup leaving a few inches from the top. Cover each mini pie with plastic wrap (this prevents a skin to form on the top of your pies) and place back into the fridge for around 2 hours so they can set.
Remove the plastic wrap from your mini pies and top with mini marshmallows. Once you layered the marshmallows to your liking brûlée them or toast them to a golden brown. Gently top with a pecan half and serve.
Enjoy these treats up to a week when covered or unless the dairy expires before.
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Until next time …