The best of many worlds came together last evening in crowd-pleasing dessert that was chock full of super foods, felt wildly indulgent, had one foot in the pecan pie camp, another in the pumpkin pie camp and tasted better and fresher than either. I used to make pumpkin pie a lot in the fall, convinced that it was a nutritious dessert, snack or even breakfast for the family. And then we tried sweet potato pie, which seemed so delightfully Southern, actually was nutritious, and proved far too fabulous to confine to the months of November and December. Tonight was the first time that I experimented with a pecan crust, and there is simply no going back. That was the consensus reached by Sarah and the hungry hoard of her four delightful friends who arrived after a 14 hour trek from Auburn, Ala.
- 2 cups pecans
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour (Use rice flour for a gluten-free crust.)
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 4 Tbsp. melted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly ground ginger
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Peel two sweet potatoes, chop into 2-inch chunks, and boil for 20 minutes until very soft.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, add pecans to a food processor and pulse until they are tiny but not completely ground. Add butter, flour, brown sugar, flax and salt and pulse until combined.
- Lightly spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick spray and evenly press pecan mixture onto the bottom and sides of pan. Cook the crust for 10 minutes at 350.
- When sweet potatoes are cooked, measure 2 1/2 cups of the softened potatoes and add to a mixing bowl along with sugar, melted butter, eggs, cinnamon, ground ginger and milk. Beat at a high speed for 2 minutes until creamy.
- Pour filling into lightly roasted pecan crust.
- Cook for 50 minutes, sprinkling additional nuts onto the top of the pie after 30 minutes (optional).
- Serve at room temperature or cool.