Sweet Potato Pie with Quenelles

Prep Time: Needs to be no object when making this. | Yield: 1 outstanding pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 2¼ teaspoons vodka
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • ⅔ cup whole milk

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Make crust: In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, salt and butter together on low. Pour vodka and ice water in as dough is mixing and incorporate so dough barely holds together. Turn out and press together, forming a small disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough, rotating periodically, into a circle 13 inches across and about ¼-inch thick. Place dough in a 9-inch pie pan and trim excess. Use a fork to poke holes in dough. Chill in refrigerator 15 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on top and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake 30 minutes. (Go to step 5 while you are waiting for pie shell to bake.)
  4. Remove weights and parchment, and continue baking until fully cooked, 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let shell cool completely. Decrease temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Make filling: Prick potatoes with a fork and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon water. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil. Place in oven and bake until tender, 1 hour. Remove and let cool. Peel and purée in a food processor until smooth. Set aside 1½ cups purée for filling.
  6. In a bowl, whisk potato purée, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and ginger until smooth. Add milk and stir to combine. Place mixture in baked pie shell. Bake, rotating after 25 minutes, until filling sets, 45-60 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Once pie is cool, make whipped cream: Use an electric mixer to whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
  8. Make quenelles: Google this if you don’t know how. I only understood how to do this once I watched a few videos. It’s not hard. Arrange quenelles around outer edge of pie, or around the center, like the petals of a flower.

Notes: This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving this year. The crust was outstanding. I would make this crust for any pie in the future. The quenelles are a nice touch. Make them on the same day the pie will be eaten, and put the leftover whipped cream in a pretty serving dish with a spoon.

Recipe Origin: Originally from the Wall Street Journal. I changed it to use food processor to make the crust. I would also cut the nutmeg in the quenelles by half next time.

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