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The American Sweet Potato Pie is a true classic of the American holidays, especially for Christmas and Thanksgiving. There are many variations of this recipe, I decided to prepare it with spices, bourbon and marshmallow on top. It is a really delicious dessert, the dough for the pai is light and crunchy, while the filling is creamy and not too sweet, with a flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and bourbon that make it really delicate. The toppings are marshmallows left to melt in the oven towards the end of cooking.
The Story Behind the American Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potatoes are a typical product of the Americas, there are really different types. In addition to these, during the colonial period, African potatoes called Yam (or yams), also sweet but completely different, were imported. In America, sweet potatoes are now called both Yam and Sweet Potatoe.
In addition to slaves, huge quantities of yams were imported from Africa from regions such as Nigeria and Cameroon which were introduced to America and Europe. During Colonialism the African population found in sweet potatoes the best substitute for yams, thus becoming a key ingredient of African-American cuisine.
American Sweet Potato Pie is a cake that is part of the American Soul Food. It is typical of the holidays and replaces the Sweet Pumpkin Cake which is preferred in the northernmost states. The recipe for this cake is basically composed of the Shortcrust Pie for the base only, since it is an uncovered pie, sweet potatoes and Buttermilk or at most Sour Cream. From here many variations develop, with bourbon, vanilla, lemon, spices or a combination of them.
The topping can also vary, marshmallows are used, melted and browned in the oven, marshmallow cream, often distributed with a pastry bag and then browned in the oven or with the burner or left natural. A grain consisting of chopped pecans, spices and sugar is also often used or left without topping.
For my version of American Sweet Potato Pie, I opted for marshmallows as a topping, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla and a little bourbon. The result was truly a delight! I also tried the one with lemon but this version beats it great, so here’s the recipe!
American Sweet Potato Pie with Bourbon
Shortcrust Pastry for Pie
- 350 g Pastry Flour
- 175 g Butter
- 6 tbs Water
- 400 g Sweet Potatoes Orange Americans
- 100 g Sugar Cane
- 2,5 g Salt
- 60 g Butter
- 2 Eggs
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 5 ml Vanilla Extract
- 30 ml Bourbon Whiskey
- 150 g Sour Cream or Buttermilk
- 150 g Marshmallow Marshmallow cream
Shortcrust Pastry for Pie
- Put the flour in the bowl of the mixer (you can also knead by hand following the same procedure). Start at medium speed by adding a piece of butter at a time to create a kind of sand.
- When the butter is finished, pour the water slowly while continuing to knead at medium speed. Once the dough is smooth, knead by hand for a couple of minutes, form a ball and wrap it in cling film. Keep it in the fridge and take it out 15 minutes before making the cake.
- Cook the potatoes, You can do it in the microwave, steamed or boiling them in water. Once cooked, mash them while they are still hot and then let them cool.
- Melt the butter and pour it into the potatoes while stirring. Add the eggs and all the other ingredients (except marshmallows) and mix until smooth.
- Roll out the dough about 3 mm thin and line the pan. Pierce the bottom with a fork and put weights or chickpeas or beans on the bottom and bake for 18/20 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and remove the weights, put it back to cook for 3/5 minutes.
- Remove the base and pour in the mixture, lower the oven to 175 ° C and cook for 30 minutes.
- Add the marshmallows (if they are large, cut them into 4) and bake for 5/6 minutes or when you see them golden. Let it cool before serving.