Put a marshmallow on a shoe and I'd likely eat it. That's the immortal child in me and I ruthlessly hang onto this element as the rest of me is seemingly going on 90. Crosswords? Every night. A nice warm afghan? Yes, please. A friendly game of bridge, wine at 4pm, dinner at 5pm, and lights out at 9pm? You're barking up the very right tree.
This pie is my answer to pumpkin pie because if I have to eat one more bland, one size fits all, grocery store pumpkin pie, I will lose my mind. The yams are sweet and creamy, the pie is brimming with spices and fall flavors, the crust is tender and barely holds up against a fork, and the topping in fluffy and toasty and melts in your mouth. It is pumpkin/sweet potato/yam pie done right. Oh, and I make the whole darn thing in a food processor to simplify my life.
2 cups [500 grams] yams- peeled, cubed, and baked till soft. Or canned, I won't tell.
1/2 cup [125 grams] evaporated milk
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup [125 grams] heavy cream
1/2 cup [110 grams] light brown sugar
1/4 cup [50 grams] dark brown sugar
1/4 cup [60 grams] granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon maple extract
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, optional
On the sidelines:
Flaky Pie Crust, recipe as follows
Marshmallow Meringue, recipe as follows
Prepare the pie crust. We'll only need half the recipe so stash the other half in your fridge for another day. Roll one disc into your pie pan and freeze until ready. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Throw the ingredients from the first bowl into the bowl of a food processor. Turn it on and let it run for a minute or two- we really want to take our time with this step and make sure that the yams are nicely pureed and creamy.
After a minute or two, add everything else from the second bowl. Let it whirl for another minute.
Remove the pie pan from the freezer and pour in the filling. Smooth the top.
Bake until the pie is mostly set but still has a slight wiggle in the very center, about 50 minutes. Remove and let cool.
While the pie is cooling, prepare the marshmallow meringue. Once the pie is cooled, spoon on the meringue. Place the pie under a broiler or use a handheld kitchen torch to lightly brown the meringue. Let cool.
Flaky Pie Crust
Bowl of a food processor:
2 1/4 cup [355 grams] all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable shortening, diced and very cold
1/3 cup very cold water
Splash of bourbon
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Throw everything in a food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix the dough as it will become tough.
Divide the dough in half and shape into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.
3 egg whites [110 grams]
3/4 cup [165 grams] granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
We need to make a double boiler so place a large bowl over a small pot with a bit of water in it. Place the pot with the bowl on the stove and turn the heat to medium low. In the bowl, add the egg whites and sugar. While whisking, heat the eggs whites and sugar until the mixture is thoroughly warmed up and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Place the egg whites and sugar along with the other ingredients into the bowl of a standing mixer. Turn to medium speed and beat until the mixture has doubled, turned smooth and glossy, and achieves stiff peaks. Spoon onto the cooled pie.