October 6, 2012

The Autumn Art of Sweet Potato Pie

There is something in the Autumn
That is Native to my blood
Touch of manner, Hint of mood
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and purple and
The crimson keeping time.
~Bliss Carman

Today is both happy and sad...my dear father passed away on October 6th, 1994.. I did not want this to be the day. I did not want this to be the month. I have always, always loved October. It is the most glorious day of the year to me. I wanted him to live and be well. I wanted him to be able to return to the Smoky Mountains and hike among the fall colors. He just loved this. I thought his passing in the early days of October would forever make me sad and melancholy. But I can now regain the sheer happiness this month brings. He is in Heaven with my Mother and that would make him the happiest angel of all.

It is also the birthday of our grandson, Noah. Oh Noah! His smile is infectious! He makes me laugh, he makes my heart sing and he is a blessing to his family. We missed him so while living in Maine and now, that we have relocated  back to Texas, we have had swimming parties, birthdays, holidays, spend the night parties and been able to attend numerous sports events, It was divine intervention, I believe, that we were afforded the opportunity to come home. Life is good and it is the most glorious month of the year. Savor the beauty, the scents, the feel of the autumn nights...kiss your sweetheart under the Harvest Moon.

1 recipe Basic Pie Dough (or your favorite pie crust for a single-crust 9-inch pie)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups baked, mashed sweet potatoes
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a baking sheet on the rack.
Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a round approximately 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough and fold the excess under itself, crimping the edges to seal. Place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Place the measured flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, cloves, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
Place the sweet potatoes in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, letting the first completely incorporate before adding the second. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Return the mixer to medium speed, add the sugar, and mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the reserved flour mixture, condensed milk, melted butter, and vanilla and mix until just incorporated.
Transfer the filling to the crust. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet and bake until the filling is just set in the middle and the edges are puffed, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, about 1 hour.

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