My mother sent me some sweet potatoes. A lot of sweet potatoes. A whole LOT of sweet potatoes. I visited my sister in the panhandle two weekends ago and my mom sent a box full of all kinds of memoirs and other goodies including, but not limited to, sweet potatoes. Also a gigantic box of green tomatoes that I still have no idea what to do with. If they ripen before I can do something with their greenness, I see another tomato pie in my future…or homemade pasta sauce.
I’ve never made a sweet potato pie, so today was kind of an experiment slash “ok I’ve done with this pumpkin so it can’t be that hard” endeavor. I threw on the best jazz music station on Pandora I could find, let it permeate the air in my kitchen and allowed it to inspire me to muster up a smooth, creamy, nutmeg-y, cinnamon-y and totally vegan sweet potato pie. Serve this to your Thanksgiving guests and they’ll never know about that “V” word. They’ll just be astounded at how tasty it is…after they lick their (second) plateful goodbye, only then tell them it’s vegan and watch the jaws drop (to insert another bite).
Oh and did I mention I’m in love with my Nikon D3200? I was SO very lucky to have some professional photographers to take the time to show me how to use the manual mode at my friend’s wedding in Buffalo a couple of weeks ago. How I was shooting in auto is beyond me. Once you go manual, you know, you never go back. I was so thankful they helped me and took interest in me learning how to use my camera. They even let me shoot with some of their big boy and girl lenses! Swoon!
Another really cool thing about these photos is the abundance of family heirlooms lurking in the backdrops. The purple handkerchief seen underneath the pie belonged to my grandmother, as well as the cutter/server seen in the foreground, the woven hot pad/plate thing to the left and, you can barely see it, but there’s a charger plate type of thing there too with fall leaves and grapes on it. They all belonged to her. Taking these photos gave me that happy, warm feeling you get when you see your mom for the first time in months. I can’t wait to see her!; only a few days until my trip back to Alabama for Thanksgiving!
*Note: this recipe will make two pies, so half it if you only need one. But really, who needs one pie?
Ingredients for Filling:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 block firm tofu, pressed and drained, like Nasoya
1 cup unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk, like Almond Breeze
2/3 cup sugar (preferably raw sugar)
5 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp real maple syrup
2 1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Ingredients for crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chilled water
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
Make the crust first and stick it in the fridge to chill. Mix all ingredients together well, but you won’t be doing this long. It’s a dough, so within about 5 stirs, start using your hands and knead it together until all ingredients are incorporated (like Mama June says, your hands are the best utensils, right?). Spray your pie pan with nonstick spray, roll out the crust with a rolling pin and drape it over the pie pan and press the edges to create the rippled look. Stick in fridge; get to work on some potatoes.
Preheat oven to 375°. I know, I know, the oven. But why can’t I just microwave these things?? It’s going to really be to your best taste advantage to bake these bad boys in el horno. I chose to not be a lazy bum today and actually bake them instead of do the old nuke ’em in the microwave, and what a fabulous result did it yield. It’s totally worth the wait
Cool oven down to 350°. Poke several holes in each potato with a fork and place directly on the wire rack in your oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flesh is completely soft like, well, a baked potato should be! Let them cool because they’re hotter than the surface of 1,000 suns. Once cool, peel and place into the blender with the rest of your filling ingredients. It’s really that simple. Don’t forget to press the tofu in between some towels to get all the excess liquid out of it, otherwise your filling will be too thin. Hit the liquefy button on the blender and let it go until everything is completely smooth. Add more spices to your liking (I am known for over-nutmegging things, but I like it that way).
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes.
Let cool and serve with a heaping scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream!
Makes about 16 servings, or two pies (both the filling and the crust recipe).
PS: I went to the eye doc today. Turns out I need bifocals. Dang, age 30, why you gotta hit me so hard? I just got here!