Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 30 minutes (Pie)

Serves:6-8

By Cathy Fisher
This pie is perfect for holidays and special occasions, and you can easily make a pumpkin or yam pie from this same recipe (see Notes).

Ingredients

  • 1/4-1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (1/2 cup will result in a firmer filling)
  • 3/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 4 ounces pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baked sweet potato (about 1 pound before cooking)
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 pre-baked Pecan-Date Pie Crust (recipe below)
  • 15-20 raw, unsalted pecan halves to decorate the outside edge
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans for the center of the pie
  • Pecan-Date Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 ounces raw, unsalted pecans
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 ounces pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp nondairy milk

Directions

Grind the rolled oats into flour with a blender and then transfer to a small bowl.

Place the nondairy milk, dates, and vanilla into the blender, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften). Preheat the oven to 375F. Set aside your pre-baked pie crust.

Add the baked sweet potato to the blender with the milk, dates and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Add the oat flour, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves to the blender mixture, and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple times. (This will be thick, so use your blender's tamper if it has one, or you can also use a food processor.)

Pour the pie filling into the pre-baked pie crust and smooth out evenly. Arrange the pecan halves around the outside of the pie and the chopped pecans in the middle.

Wrap a few 3-inch-wide strips of aluminum foil around the edge of the pie crust (keeping the edges of the foil from touching the filling) to prevent the crust from over-browning.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is a medium brown. Remove the pie from the oven and remove the foil strips. Cool completely before slicing.

NOTES:
To bake the sweet potato, place the unpeeled potato on a baking sheet, and bake at 400F for 60 to 70 minutes, or until very soft when pierced with a knife.

To make this a pumpkin pie, substitute 1 can (15 ounces) 100% cooked pumpkin (not "pumpkin pie mix") or 1 1/2 cups (packed) baked pumpkin.

To make this a yam pie, substitute 1 1/2 cups (packed) baked yams. Yam pie will be darker in color than sweet potato pie.

Pecan-Date Pie Crust:
This crust tastes like a sweet, crumbly cookie. I use it with the Sweet Potato-Pecan Pie recipe above, but you can use it wherever a sweet, pre-baked pie shell is called for.

Prep: about 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes 1 eight-inch pie crust

Place the oats, pecans, and cinnamon in a food processor, and process until the texture resembles coarse flour. Add the dates, and process for about 1 minute, or until the mixture just begins to clump together. Add the milk and process until the mixture starts to ball up into dough (this will happen quickly).

Form the dough into one big ball and place it on a large piece of parchment paper on top of a large cutting board or other flat surface. Press the ball flat with your hands and then place another large piece of parchment paper over the top. Preheat the oven to 375F. Set aside an 8-inch pie pan.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a circle that is about 1/8-inch thick. The circle should be slightly larger than the upper edge of the pie pan. (If your circle is irregularly shaped, just cut a piece of dough from another area and press it in.)

Peel off the top piece of parchment paper and carefully invert the rolled-out crust onto the pie pan. Peel away the remaining piece of parchment paper. Gently ease the crust into the contours of the pan and gently press into place.

Trim away any hanging crust. (You do not need to poke the crust with a knife.) Place a piece of aluminum foil over the entire crust, loosely tucking under the corners. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned.