This recipe is a family favorite! I make it about once a year and it is always a hit. Keep in mind that this is a special occasion treat and, as such, it takes a while to make. I recommend making it a day in advance before you serve it! Enjoy!
Deep Dish Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen; makes an 8-inch pie
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold and diced into very small pieces
- Ice cold water
Sweet Potato Filling
- 2 to 3 sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1 cup cooked pulp), baked
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon egg, vigorously beaten until frothy (using remaining eggs in pecan topping, below)
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pecan Pie Syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, minus 1 Tablespoon egg, used above
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup pecan pieces or halves
For the Crust
In a cold mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter or your fingers until butter is roughly the size of small peas.
Drizzle 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water on top of the buttery flour. Gather the dough together and press to combine pieces. Add a little bit more water a tablespoon at a time until all the clumps of dough combine into a fairly shaggy, uniform mass. Press dough into a circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour (or up to 24 hours if making in advance for a holiday!) in the fridge. This dough can also be made ahead and frozen. Allow to defrost for a day in the fridge before using.
For this recipe, prepare an 8-inch cake pan for baking, greasing and flouring the inside (I used a springform cake pan and it released with ease). Do not use a pie pan as the filling will overflow.
Roll out your pie crust on a lightly floured board, moving the crust a quarter turn with each roll to reduce sticking. Once your dough is large enough to fill both the cake pan and up the sides (roughly a 13″ diameter circle) fold it lightly in half and place, gently in the bottom of your prepared cake pan. Gently press the bottom in and, with your fingers, crease along the bottom edge and up the sides to fit tightly in the pan.
You will have excess pie crust and this is okay. With your rolling pin, roll along the edge of your cake pan to cut off and release the excess crust off the top. Set aside for another use or cut into small shapes, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until brown. These are a great treat for little ones! Pinch the top of the crust into decorative scallops with your fingers.
Store prepared crust in the fridge for up to an hour while preparing your fillings.
This is my go-to crust recipe. I’ve tried so many, some with the additions of vinegar or vodka. Some with a mix of butter and lard. Some with yogurt in place of some of the water. But this one wins every time. This recipe, if making normal sized pies (not deep dish) will make two pie crusts.
For the Sweet Potato Filling
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Do not overbeat.
The easiest way, in my opinion, to make the sweet potato pulp required is to peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. Place in a covered casserole with a tablespoon or two of water and bake for about 30 minutes. They’re done when you can mash them with only gentle pressure with a fork. (Note that sweet potatoes oxidize in air, so don’t cut them too far in advance of baking or keep them, cut, submerged in water until you’re ready to use) These can be made up to three days in advance of baking pie. Simply mash with a potato masher in the casserole, measure and you’re done! Any leftover is great used as baby food or mixed in with bread dough or as a vegetable soup thickener.
Canned sweet potatoes can be used, just make sure you get the sweet potatoes that are in light syrup. Fresh are so much better.
Pecan Pie Syrup
Combine all ingredients except for pecans in a mixing bowl. Mix on slow speed with an electric mixer until the syrup is opaque, about 1 minute. Turn off mixer, stir in pecans and set aside. Spoon the sweet potato filling into the dough-lined cake pan and level, evenly, with a spatula. Pour pecan syrup on top; pecans will rise to the top of the pie when baking. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to two and a half hours.
Cool and serve with bourbon-spiked whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
This post was originally written as a guest post for Censational Girl in 2009