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Southern Sweet Potato Pie

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What You Need:
1 to 1-1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 large)
3/4 cup of light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, separated
3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup of butter, softened at room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, homemade or commercial (Pillsbury recommended)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 tablespoon cane, sorghum or maple syrup, optional
Fresh whipped cream

What You Do:
Steam or boil diced sweet potatoes until tender; set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, toast pecans in a skillet until fragrant. Put sweet potatoes in a food processor together with the brown sugar, egg yolks, half and half, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slice up the butter and add. Process just until well blended.

In a mixer bowl, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Add in 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You should be able to hold the mixing bowl upside down without the whipped egg whites sliding out. Add the sweet potato mixture to the whipped egg whites until blended well; turn out into pie shell. Sprinkle pecans on the top and drizzle top with syrup, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until set. Shield the pie crust edges with aluminum foil about halfway thorough cooking time to avoid overbrowning. Let cool completely before cutting. Top with fresh whipped cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.

~Cook’s Notes~

Substitute one large (29 ounce) can of whole sweet potatoes, drained and mashed, or one small (15 ounce) can of mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato puree. If you use a canned sweet potato in heavy syrup, you’ll want to drain well and take care with any additional sugar. Taste the mash for sweetness first before adding any brown sugar, then add a little, taste and adjust. Do not use sweet potato pie filling for this recipe.

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