Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mini Sweet Potato Pies

It's Fall, my favorite time of the year!  It is extra special this year because my folks finally planted a garden which means lots of fresh produce for me and Lee.  Our haul from this past weekend included a ton of mint and parsley, sweet potatoes and squash.  The sweet potatoes that I took home were gargantuan  like the size of both of my hands put together! 

 I was pondering what to do with all the sweet potatoes when Bridget at bake at 350 came to my rescue.  She had a post about an amazing sounding sweet potato pie !  Now with it just being the two of us, Lee and me I knew a whole pie would go bad....or I would eat the whole thing in one sitting, so I miniaturized the whole pie concept and made mini pies ^.^

Mini Sweet Potato Pie with Sugar Topper
{slightly modified from Bake at 350}

sweet potato puree:
3 large sweet potatoes
water to cover

10 graham crackers (the full sheets, rectangles) or 1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs
3TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
pinch kosher salt
5 TBSP butter, melted

3 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1 and 3/4 c. cooled sweet potato puree
1/2 c. half and half
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (orange or pineaplle might be nice as well)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves

sugar topper:
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP corn syrup 

First peal and boil your sweet potatoes. 

Make sure you don't put your peals down your garbage disposal, unless you want to clog your sink, and have it snaked only to have the snake go through you  pipe and have a sink full of icky water gush onto your kitchen floor at 12:30 at night and spend the next half hour sopping up the mess while praying you aren't leaking water into the apt. below you.  Now if this sounds like fun by all means put the peals down the disposal ;)

Once soft pure your potatoes or mash them, use a food processor  hand blender (what I used) or just do it by hand.  Get the potatoes as smooth as you can.  Let the potatoes cool.  While they are cooling you can mix up the crust.

Preheat oven to 350

Either grind your graham crackers with the sugar, ginger and salt or just mix the crumbs together.  Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are moist.

 Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and add about 2-2 1/2 TBS of the crumb mixture to each cup.  Press the mixture to the sides and bottom with your fingers.  Now it's time to mix up the filling.

Whisk eggs and sugar together until well combined, then add the cooled sweet potatoes, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Mix everything up until it's nice and smooth.

Add 1/4 cup of the filling to each of the mini pie crusts. I think I added a bit more to some of mine, use your best judgement.  You can try to smooth the tops if you want, I didn't but I wasn't to worried about a nice flat top either. 

Place mini pies into the oven and bake 40-50 min or until the filling only sightly jiggles in the pies.  
Let cool for about an hour and then refrigerate.  

While the pies are cooling you can whip up the fancy toppers.  Place sugar and corn syrup in a small sauce pan and turn heat to medium, stir mixture constantly, when it starts to melt and turn amber turn the heat down to low, stir till smooth and a dark amber.  Take a spoon full and drip over a Silpat mat making lots of fun designs.  Work fast or your sugar will go hard on you.  

Once pies are cool break off chunks of your sugar designs and place on top of pies. Serve and Enjoy!

If you are planning on serving the pies the day after, don't add the sugar topping until you are ready to serve, otherwise it melts all over the pies.