Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crust


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INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD:

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.

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