Try my new slant on an old Southern favorite, sweet potato pie.
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder (optional, but delicious)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 to 5 tablespoons ice cold water
Whisk all of the dry ingredients together, reserving a few tablespoons of the flour. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse meal.
Place the reserved flour on your work surface, and coat the lard or shortening with the flour. Work the flour into the fat until it forms a ball. Divide ball into 1 inch pieces, and mix into the dough until even distributed.
Pour the vinegar into the water and sprinkle over the dough while tossing with a fork. Use one tablespoon at a time. Just as soon as you can squeeze the dough into a ball easily, stop adding liquid. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Wait 5 minutes before rolling to allow the butter to soften and make rolling easier. Roll the dough to the desired size.
For the Filling:
18 oz sweet potatoes (bake at 350 degrees till tender, peel and puree in food processor)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
Transfer pureed sweet potatoes to bowl and whisk in eggs. Heat butter in medium sized heavy bottomed skillet until the milk solids are just slightly browned. Add the sugar, honey, and spices. Boil one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Add butter mixture to sweet potato puree, blend until smooth.
For the Topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
Mix all ingredients into a small bowl. Blend with a fork ( or your fingers) until crumbly.
Pour the filling into prepared pie crust. Gently sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the center moves only slightly when the pan is shaken, about 40 minutes for a 9” deep dish pan. Cover crust with foil during baking if the crust browns too quickly.
Let cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator. Enjoy!