Hey Ya'll. It's been quite some time, and I'm so so sorry! Work has been crazy, as is the sales life, but I've been working in the background to get content up for you all so that the busy times won't interfere with your healthy eating efforts. In honor of Pi Day, however, I wanted to give you all a recipe for pie, of course! I wouldn't call this recipe "healthy" because it is a dessert, but it is a lightened up version and with the mini serving size, you won't be as inclined to keep eating slices. Honestly, anyone around will probably devour these anyway, so no need to worry about overeating!!
When I thought of pie, there were two very distinct recipes that came to mind for me: strawberry and sweet potato. Strawberry because I make them every year for my mom on mother's day. It's her favorite and with strawberries in season, it just works! But as we are in the dead of winter (with a blizzard impending), something warm and delicious is what I was craving. Couple that with memories of visiting my family in North Carolina from Cuba during the holidays and finding yourself surrounded by desserts, it always seemed like for every one of any dessert, there was a sweet potato pie to go along. They loved them that much! I've never been a huge fan of sweet potato pie, but have been told my pies are very good, especially by my best friend Rachel's family, who I make at least one for during the holidays.
What I like about this version of my recipe is that I used my Blendtec to puree the filling so it was super smooth and luscious. I didn't need to add too much liquid because it was purreed so smooth on its own. I also used my winter spice blend (linked below) which has cardamom and black pepper which just adds another layer of warmth you don't typically find in the recipe. Finally, the crust recipe* below is gluten free which makes it more allergen friendly and a lot nicer to my tummy! I topped these with some pecan chips and a little Sweet is the Spice "Sweet & Salty Surrender," but you can leave them plain, top with a little zest or get creative.
Two of the things that really make this recipe work are chilling the butter, bowl and pastry cutter used for making the dough. This ensures all of the ingredients are cold and the butter does not melt into the flour. When baking, this creates not only pockets of flavor, but also flakiness throughout the dough. The other key is roasting the potatoes. Not only does this ensure you have an evenly cooked potato for a smooth filling, but it also allows the potatoes to release their sugar and juices which then caramelizes and creates natural sweetness. This means you can use less sugar in the final recipe...at least cutting a few calories that you really wont miss!
Ok, enough talking, lets get to the good stuff!
*The crust recipe is written by weight because it's most accurate. Very important for pie crusts*
Mini Sweet Potato Pies
Author: Monique Manning
Yield: 24 mini pies
Nutrition/Serving: 137 calories, 7.8g fat, 14.4 net carbs, 1.4g protein
- 6 ½ oz gluten free all purpose flour
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 oz very cold butter, cut into smaller pieces*
- 2 oz cold butter-flavored shortening, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 egg*
- ½ tsbp white vinegar
- 1.5 lbs jewel sweet potatoes
- 2 tsbp butter
- ½ scant cup light brown sugar
- ½ tbsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 ½ tsp winter spice
- 1 egg*
- ¼ cup heavy cream*
- 2-3 tbsp pecan chips
- 1 tbsp Sweet & Salty Surrender
- In a (cold) bowl, place in your dry ingredients and use a (cold) pasty cutter to bring them together.
- Working quickly, add in the butter and shortening and use the pastry cutter to mix until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- In a small, separate bowl, whisk together egg and vinegar until is is a light yellow color and frothy. Add to dry ingredients and mix until it comes together.
- Pull in all of the mixture to the center and roll to get a smooth ball.
- If the mixture feels too dry, add in cold water a tsp at a time. Just until dough comes together and does not crumble apart.
- Place dough ball in a large plastic bag or in plastic wrap. Press the dough to flatten into a disc and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- When ready to use, roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap into a large rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds and then in half and roll out again. Doing this will give you layers in your dough. You can stop here or repeat up to two more times.
- Cut dough into 2x2 inch squares and place into a greased/sprayed mini muffin tin cup, pressing down to ensure the dough is set.
- Blind-Bake the crusts for 10 minutes then set aside for custard.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place oven in upper third of the oven.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, place washed sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork multiple times. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and skin peels easily. Remove from oven.
- Set oven to 400 degrees and place rack in middle of the oven.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and place into the jar of a high powered blender. Blend for 15 seconds, or until smooth. (alternatively, place in a mixing bowl and follow the same instructions).
- Add all other ingredients, except the cream and egg and mix on high speed for about 30 seconds or until well combined and smooth.
- Add in egg and milk and blend for another 15-30 seconds until well combined. (If using a mixer, try pureeing the mixture with a stick blender to get even smoother, if possible).
- Spoon filling into prepared crusts until almost to the top. About 1 1/2 tablespoons.
- If using, top with pecans and Sweet and Salty Surrender and bake for 18-22 mins. This will make sure the centers are set. If pies brown too quickly on top, tent muffin pan with foil and continue baking.
- Allow to cool in pan for 10 mins, then cool remainder of time on a baking rack.
*To make vegan, substitute egg with chia egg and use full fat coconut cream in place of heavy cream*