When Sweet Potatoes Are Just Dug It’s Time To Make Pie
Sweet potatoes are pretty easy to grow. My pastor taught me a neat trick on how to get them started. Sometimes the tubers start to grow on their own and you simply break off the baby leaves emerging from the eyes and root them in little jars of water in the windowsill. It happens pretty fast. Then on a cool spring day plant them in the full sun. All you have to do then is water them a bit when it’s dry and wait a couple of months until the foliage dies back, and they will be a great surprise when you go to dig them up. Some turn out pretty huge if you have decent soil.
I can’t wait for the ones in my yard but find great big ones at the local market for 59 cents a pound. These big boys will take a while to cook. One will make more than enough filling. In the skin, I cook one in the microwave on high for about 12 minutes or so. I test them with a knife for any undone spots. If there’s resistance they need just a couple more minutes. They rest until they cool to a temperature I can handle. Speaking of temperature, I preheat the oven at this time to 350°. The skins slip off easily and go to the compost pile. Then I cut the potato into chunks (I only need half of the one pictured) that will fit in my mini processor and give them a good whizz with two eggs and a splash of evaporated milk until they are nice and smooth. I transfer that to a larger bowl add the rest of the can of milk and a cup of brown sugar lightly packed. A little spice next…about a teaspoon of cinnamon. Pumpkin pie spice is OK too. Last, just a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors. Now everything gets stirred together with the hand mixer for 30 or 40 seconds, just enough to mix it well.
I’ve made some pie shells recently and have stored them in the freezer so that one is already available. For a good recipe scroll back to my blog entry on How a Baseball Helps make Pie crust. This technique helps make a nice flakey crust every time. I pour the blended mixture in the pie shell and now the oven is ready to receive. I bake the pie for about an hour. The pie needs to cool completely before serving. I like mine to be refrigerated. It’s summer after all and cool things are always a good idea.
It’s really hot today. I have my neighbor over with her girls, to play with my 8-year-old. She brings this awesome humus dip with pita wedges. I chop a few veggies. Everyone eats the things they like from a big plate in the middle of the table. The kids play, the grown-ups chat, and we all have pie in the end. Best lunch ever!