Sweet Potato Pie

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup ice water

Pie filling:
2 medium sweet potatoes
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
2 tablespoons whiskey
¾ cup heavy cream
3 eggs

Make crust:  Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a small-medium bowl.  Cut in butter – the easiest way to do this is to use the coarse side of a box grater to simply grate it into the flour mix.  I use an extra tablespoon of butter when I do it this way because butter inevitably gets stuck to the grater. 

Some recipes instruct you to freeze the butter before grating it, but I find that if I go quickly, there’s really no need.

Use your hands to make sure the shredded butter is evenly distributed in pea-sized pieces throughout the flour.  Sprinkle water over crust a tablespoon at a time, using a fork or spoon to sort of quickly toss the mixture around after each tablespoon of water is added.

Now this is important: You DO NOT NEED to have a dough that actually adheres into a ball at this point.  I sprinkle in water until I get large clumps of dough.

But I don’t worry about “mixing” the crust.

Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap.  Use the plastic wrap to shape and squish the ball into a flattened disk.  I sometimes “knead” the dough a little bit with the plastic wrap to get it to make a ball.  It sometimes seems a bit dry, but it usually comes together after a few seconds of smushing.  If you put in a full quarter cup water, the dough will almost certainly be moist enough to adhere.  Those of you in warm and humid climes will probably need even less water.

Wrap the dough disk in plastic wrap, then chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  I find that after all the squishing, the plastic wrap often won’t make an airtight seal, so I often pop the plastic wrapped-disk into a Ziploc bag so it won’t dry out.

Make pie filling:  Wash sweet potatoes and prick all over with fork.  Microwave sweet potatoes on high for approximately 6 minutes per side, until soft. 

Cool until you can comfortably handle them, then peel and puree.  I use a potato ricer to puree sweet potatoes because they are often stringy, and the potato ricer helps remove some of the strings. 

For best results, you’ll want to rinse the strings out after each bit of potatoes you pass through the ricer.

Mix sweet potato puree with sugar, syrup, spices, salt, amaretto, whiskey, and cream.  Adjust spice levels if desired.  Add eggs and stir until blended.

Roll out pie crust:  place two partially overlapping pieces of wax paper on your countertop.  Sprinkle liberally with flour.  Put pie crust on top of flour, sprinkle top with flour, and roll until it measures approximately 12” around. 

Once it’s rolled into a circle, either wrap it around your rolling pin or fold into quarters, then unfold/unroll onto pie plate.  I find that using the “fold into quarters” method makes it easier to get the pie crust in the middle.  Tuck overhanging crust beneath lip of pie plate and pinch dough between thumb and forefinger to create a decorative edge. 

Pour sweet potato mixture into unbaked crust and bake at 400 for 45-55 minutes.

Original recipe at http://foodforpoems.blogspot.com