For the Pecan Crust:
- 3½ ounces pecan halves
- 6 ounces (1 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, kept very cold
- 2 ounces ice water
For the Sweet Potato Filling:
- 4 small sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
1. Make the pecan crust: Place the pecans in a food processor and pulverize until finely ground. Add the flour, ginger, salt and cinnamon and pulse to combine. Transfer the flour mixture to a mixing bowl.
2. Cut the the butter into ¼-inch cubes and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chilled butter into the flour mixture and, using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is mealy with pea-size pieces of butter. Add the ice water and mix using a rubber spatula until a loose dough forms. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more ice water.
4. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
5. Make the sweet potato filling: Preheat oven to 350°. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined sheet tray and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven; let cool. Peel and scrape out the flesh, discarding the skin. You should have 2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes.
6. Transfer the sweet potatoes, along with the remaining ingredients, into the bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth; set aside.
7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and transfer it to a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to an ⅛-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch nonstick pie pan and trim excess dough around the edge of the pan; crimp edges of the crust decoratively. Poke a hole in dough at the bottom of the pan using a fork and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
8. Remove the dough from the fridge. Place a large piece of parchment over the pie dough and fill with dried beans or rice (to weigh down the crust).
9. Bake dough until fragrant and light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the dough and discard the beans and parchment; let cool.
10. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie and bake until the filling is just set, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing, about 2 hours.