Nov 15, 2017

Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Meringue Topping

This spiced sweet potato pie has a sky-high fluffy meringue topping that is baked until the peaks are golden brown.

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Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Meringue Topping

This spiced sweet potato pie has a sky-high fluffy meringue topping that is baked until the peaks are golden brown. It is a twist on the classic holiday dish of serving mashed sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. Baking the sweet potatoes allows them to soften and develops additional flavor – it also keeps from adding extra water and ending up with a mushy filling.

Up until recently I was never a fan of the traditional holiday pies like sweet potato, pumpkin or pecan pie. I used to request my own pie for thanksgiving dinner, one of my personal favorites being lemon meringue pie. Yes, I think I am the only person requesting lemon meringue pie in the middle of November.

meringue topping cooking with cocktail rings

This sweet potato pie recipe puts my own twist on the classic recipes combining my favorite meringue topping with a more classic pie and has changed my views on holiday desserts.


Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Meringue Topping

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Serves 8


For the pie crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out the dough
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 8 ounces 2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

For the sweet potato pie:

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ packed cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the meringue topping:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar


For the pie crust:

  • To make the dough, place the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Pour 6 tablespoons of cold water over a few ice cubes. Let sit for a few seconds to chill. Remove the ice cubes from the chilled water, and add the butter and water to the flour mixture.
  • Pulse until the mixture forms a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough. Form into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out into a ¼-inch thick, 12-inch circle. Carefully line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough and use a knife to cut away any excess dough hanging over the side. Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Set aside.

For the sweet potato pie:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF. Place the potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and prick each several times with a knife. Roast until soft, about 60 minutes. Remove and let cool to the touch.
  • Lower the heat of the oven to 350ºF. Once cool remove the skins of the sweet potatoes and add the insides to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse with the butter until pureed.
  • Add the eggs, brown sugar, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt, pulsing until the ingredients are combined. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust. Be careful not to overfill.
  • Bake the pie until the filling sets, about 40 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For the meringue topping:

  • Increase heat to 400ºF.
  • Add ½ cup of water and the sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and cook until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at a medium-low speed and increasing gradually to medium-high speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly pour the syrup into the whites. Beat until the meringue has cooled and becomes thick and shiny, about 6 minutes.
  • Use a rubber spatula and mound the meringue over the top of the pie. Use the spatula to create peaks all over, then bake until the peaks turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Let cool then serve.



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