This recipe for sweet potato pie is designed to highlight the flavor of the sweet potatoes with modest amounts of brown sugar and spices. I save the really sweet stuff for the homemade marshmallow topping, which is stellar when bruleed directly before serving.
Note: To measure grams, Serious Eats' recommended kitchen scale is the Oxo Good Grips Scale with Pull Out Display.
- One half recipe Easy Pie Dough, shaped and chilled in a pie plate
- 700 grams sweet potato, cooked until tender and peeled
- 125 grams light brown sugar
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- For the marshmallow topping:
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 75 grams light corn syrup
- 75 grams water
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line the bottom and sides of the chilled, shaped pie crust with foil or parchment and fill with weights (I like re-using dried beans for this purpose) and bake for 20 minutes, on the bottom rack of the oven, rotating halfway through. Then, remove the weights and liner and allow the crust to bake until it is a light golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool.
Turn the oven down to 350°F. Place sweet potatoes in the bowl of a food processor and puree them. Pass them through a mesh strainer or tamis using a flexible spatula, then return them to the bowl of the food processor. Add the condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, bourbon, spices, and salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, processing for five seconds between each egg. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and process for another five seconds, then pour mixture into prepared crust.
Bake the filled pie shell for 20 to 30 minutes, on the middle rack of the oven. Monitor the pie closely during the last ten minutes of baking. If the crust begins to look dark around the edges, place foil over the dark parts to shield them from the heat. Watch the filling closely, when it starts to puff up it's done. Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
For marshmallow topping: (This is best if made just before serving.) Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water and allow it to stand for at least 5 minutes (this is called "blooming"). Place egg white in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium-sized saucepan and clean the sides of the pot with cold water using a pastry brush. Bring mixture to a boil, and start to whisk the egg white until it is frothy, but still a bit wet looking. Cook the sugar mixture until a candy thermometer reads 240°F. Remove from heat, whisk in gelatin until it has all dissolved, then pour mixture slowly down the sides of the mixer bowl into the egg whites with the whisk running on low speed. Then, increase the speed to high and whisk for 7 to 10 minutes, until the marshmallow is very thick, the bowl feels cool to the touch, and the marshmallow holds soft peaks that keep their shape when you test in the bowl. Put the marshmallow in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe designs on the top of the chilled pie. Optional: brulee the topping using a torch or under the broiler right before serving.