In my last post I talked about coming up with Thanksgiving recipe ideas and how there are so many yummy dessert recipes out there and so I didn’t need to come up with my own. Well, need and want are very different things – we may not need another Thanksgiving dessert recipe idea, but I wanted one!
Sweet potato is one of my all time favourite foods, I’ve yet to find a way I don’t like to eat it! But I’d never eaten sweet potato pie before, so naturally I decided I needed to make it! I somehow don’t own a pie plate, I don’t know how this happened but here we are – the need to make a pie but no pie dish to make it in. But who says pie needs to be round anyway? These sweet potato pie bars are the perfect solution to the lack of pie dish conundrum – and I would totally make it this way again even after I’ve acquired my own pie dish. There’s just something about slicing it up into little bars that makes it so much more appealing to me – maybe it’s because I could add a streusel topping and a marshmallow glaze without ruining the clean look of a pie! Making them in bars is a great way to serve them up for Thanksgiving too – no fiddly too thin pieces to make sure everybody gets a piece, a fork isn’t even needed if you want to mingle around the the table. I definitely think they have a more rustic, family feel to them, don’t you?
Since I’d never even eaten sweet potato pie before, I decided to start from an established recipe. I chose this one by Joy the Baker because I love her recipes and the ingredients list on this had me drooling! I thought to myself – I can make her one and then make any changes to suit my tastes. Silly me, I should have known I wouldn’t want to change anything about one of her recipes. I used her crust recipe and filling recipe, then just made it in bar form and added a streusel and glaze. I thought about topping this pie with a lattice crust, but my weakness for streusel beat that idea out. And I’m glad it did, it gives an extra yummy layer of texture, and is a great vehicle for the marshmallow glaze. Marshmallow is a go to pairing with sweet potato dishes and there’s a good reason for that, it just plain works! it’s simple to put together too, it’s just butter, marshmallows and sugar. I melted marshmallows to add to the mix, but in a pinch marshmallow fluff would probably do the trick too. It’s a nice, thick glaze too so it holds its own against the streusel!
Coriander isn’t something I would have thought to put in myself, but it really does make this pie shine! You’ll want to buy coriander seeds and grind them yourself too, coriander is one of those spices that tends to lose it’s flavour quickly once ground. There’s a lot of yummy, warming spices in this pie of course – as well as the coriander we have nutmeg and cinnamon. You cook the filling through before adding it to the pie, so you awaken all those delicious spices that bring so much fall flavour. It’s a good idea to blend the filling first too to make sure the whole thing is smooth, I used an immersion stick blender but you could add it to your blender and give it a whirl too.
There’s a fair bit of work in putting this pie together, with cooking the potatoes, cooking the filling, making the crust, making the streusel and the glaze. But it really isn’t very daunting, you can do stages simultaneously and each part is pretty easy. In bar form as well it’s very forgiving – you don’t have to worry about the top of your pie or breaking the crust!
I hope you give this one a go, it’s a great recipe (with most of it coming from Joy the Baker, you can trust me on that) and your family will love it!
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- 200g plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 115g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 90ml buttermilk, cold
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 150g brown sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 60g unsalted butter
- 285ml evaporated milk
- 80g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 40g rolled oats
- 30g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 80g brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 60g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 60g unsalted butter
- 150g marshmallows
- 150g icing sugar (powdered)
- 2 tbsp milk
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add the cold butter, and rub it into the flour mixture until your have crumbs of varying size. You want to do this quickly so you don't melt the butter with your fingers - you could also use a pastry cutter or potato masher.
- Create a well in the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Using a fork, bring the dough together, making sure all is combined. If needed, add a little extra buttermilk - you don't want the mixture really wet, just moist enough to come together, it should still be shaggy.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together properly. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- You can use this chilling time to get started on the filling (below).
- Line a 12x8"baking dish with parchment paper, with overhang at the sides
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rough rectangle. You want it to be just slightly bigger than the baking dish.
- Transfer it to the baking dish, pressing along the bottom. Trim the edges so it's only lining the bottom - but don't worry about leaving a little crust around the edges.
- Cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into small cubes. Put the potatoes into a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain once cooked.
- In the same large pot, add the potatoes, brown sugar, the spices, salt, butter and half of the evaporated milk. Cook on a low heat and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes as they cook and to combine the ingredients.
- Simmer for 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make sure the mixture is as smooth as possible.
- Once smooth, remove from heat and set aside in pot to cool slightly.
- In a bowl, whisk together the remaining evaporated milk, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla. Whisk this mixture into the warm potato mixture until smooth and combined.
- Pour the filling into the crust lined baking dish.
- Whisk the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until you have large, coarse crumbs.
- After the 10 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160C/325F
- Sprinkle the streusel over the pie and return to the oven for 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the pie is set (you want it to have a little jiggle to it, but not loose).
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over a low heat.
- Add the marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Stir until smooth.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the icing sugar and milk until combined and smooth
- Add more sugar or milk to adjust to your desired consistency if necessary.
- Leave to cool slightly and then either drizzle over the pie with a spoon, or place in piping bag and pipe in zig zags.
- Remove the pie from the baking dish using the parchment paper overhang and cut into squares.
- Can be served warm or cold.
- Will keep covered in the fridge for 5 days
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