Monday, September 16, 2013

Paleo Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

I get really annoyed by people who don't "know how" to cook. Like, it's not even hard! Seriously! The hardest part about cooking is probably having the right equipment or making sure you didn't forget to pick up the one ingredient that's crucial to making the whole recipe work, but that's it! Do you have an oven? Do you have a bowl? How about a knife? Okay, great--you can cook!!
I think people who don't "know" how to cook simply don't care about cooking. And that's totally different. THAT, I can get behind. I mean, listen, I don't know anything about football, but that's not because it's hard to understand, that's because I literally do not care about learning how football works. Like, if you really want to learn how to roast a chicken without burning it, you will eventually figure it out. And if you want to learn how to make the perfect pie crust, then just follow Martha Stewart's instructions. And if you really want to make the cooking experience simple, just make the Paleo version of it.
I'm always the first to say that if you want to adopt a Paleo lifestyle, you have to enjoy cooking, but that's not to say you have to be a good cook. In fact, Paleo cooking is great for people just like you! Why? Because cooking allows for so much more room for error than baking. And despite the fact that you might use an oven to "bake" things, like this, this, and this, the chemistry that goes into baking glutenous treats (which is typically where most novice cooks struggle) is non-existent in Paleo baking.
Which is all just a really long way of saying, this sweet potato meringue pie is super easy to make. Just make sure you don't forget to buy, ya know, the sweet potatoes or whatever.
Now that fall is setting in, sweet potato pie just felt like the right thing to do.
I've never made sweet potato pie before--we were more of a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving family (though that's not to say we didn't enjoy sweet potatoes in other forms)--but since Paleo baking is easy, I decided to give a try, and it was a worthy experiment. Worthy of my mouth, that is!
I also tried out a new pie crust recipe (arrowroot and coconut flour give it a very authentic texture), and it's a keeper!
So, if you think you just don't KNOW how to cook, go ahead and give this recipe a try--you'll love it. And if you just don't LIKE/WANT to cook, make friends with someone who will make this for you. And then buy them a thank you gift, you leach!

Paleo Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 TBSP/1 stick of very cold grass-fed butter, cubed into small pieces
  • 1/2 - 1 cup ice cold water
For the filling
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • juice of half an orange
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (maybe more if you want it sweeter--try it and figure it out)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the meringue
  • 3 egg whites, room temp
  • 3-4 TBSP raw honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, pulse coconut and arrowroot flours and salt until well incorporated, about 10 seconds. Add the cold butter (this important--don't fuck it up with room temperature butter) to the flour and pulse until the flour becomes crumbly, about 45 seconds.
3. While food processor is running, add ice cold water (don't fuck this one up either), in a slow steady stream. Add enough for the flour to start to bind together. It may not come together in the food processor, so I ended up dumping this in a bowl after adding about 1/2 cup of water and continued to incorporate the water with my hands. Ultimately, you're just trying to make the dough come together, but it will be crumbly. Test by pressing the dough together in your hand to see if it stays together. If not, add more water. Work quickly! 
4. Once dough can come together, dump it onto a big sheet of plastic wrap and form into a ball, then wrap and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
5. Steam sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they're fork tender.
6. Allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly, then toss sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer (or blender/food processor/fork, whatever), puree sweet potatoes with coconut oil and eggs. Once combined, add zest, orange juice, maple syrup, spices, and vanilla. Taste here and decide if you want it sweeter.
7. Remove chilled pie crust from fridge and press into a pie plate (this is easier than rolling it out, just be careful about making it even across the pie plate).
8. Using a fork, poke holes on the bottom and sides of the crust, then place in oven for about 10 minutes.
9. Remove crust from oven, then dump filling into the pie shell. Place back in the oven for about 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
10. Cool for about an hour. 
11. Make meringue by beating egg whites with a hand mixer until glossy peaks form. Then, add honey and continue to beat until well incorporated.
12. Dallop meringue all over pie--use a spatula or fork or something to make peaks.
13. Place pie back in the oven and turn on your broiler. Broil for about 1-2 minutes, or until meringue is golden. Allow to cool for another hour before serving.

21 comments:

Meg O. said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhh my yum!

Jenna | je na sais quoi said...

looks delicious I love love love sweet potato anything but with meringue!? genius.

Gayla said...

Mmmmm...don't mind if I do!

The Lady Olive said...

That pie looks so good! It almost looks like you torched the meringue...very nice. I also have negative desire to learn how football works, I mean I could be doing so many other important things like eating or painting my nails.

Megan | Freckled Italian said...

God this looks so good! Can't wait to try that crust.

Anonymous said...

The crust came out hard as a rock, I didn't like it much. The filling was great but I added an extra egg and some arrowroot powder to firm it up a little because it looked soupy after blending.

CupcakesOMG! said...

@Anonymous I'm surprised the crust was hard! Did you make the edges super high? I can see that part becoming hard (especially if over baked), but the bottom shouldn't have been whatsoever--it was one of the best crust I've ever made actually; flaky and tender. Make sure you get it even in the pie pan and double check your temperature. Could be your oven is just hotter than mine? In fact, given your filling problems of being too soupy, I'd say that's likely the culprit. Do you have any other issues with baking with other recipes? (i.e., not set enough, overcooked, burnt, etc.)

BethM said...

4 large sweet potatoes is highly subjective. I'm making this pie on Thursday, and I just bought 4 of the largest sweet potatoes I've ever seen. We're talking 5 lbs. worth, which I'm sure is too much. Any idea how many cups' worth of filling the sweet potatoes should end up being?

CupcakesOMG! said...

@BethM yeah...I mean, i would say it's probably 3-4 cups of cubed sweet potatoes, but don't quote me on that, since I didn't measure that way. I would just probably steam al of them if I were you and eyeball it until it's right. Then, I'd just mash any remaining sweet potatoes with a little almond milk, orange zest, and cinnamon.

BethM said...

Thanks for the quick response! I did some Googling around, and just about every sweet potato recipe calls for 2 cups of mashed sweet potato (which probably would be about 3 cups cubed, I'd guess).
Definitely nothing wrong w/ having extra sweet potatoes to use up though!

Anonymous said...

I have made this pie 4 times in the past 2 months! It is one of the best paleo pies I've made! Thanks for sharing. ...delish!!!!!

Jaimie Cooper said...

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was AMAZING!! Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I will make it again and again..

BethM said...

I made this for Thanksgiving and just wanted to post back with my comments. I didn't change much, added a bit of ginger, used some bourbon along w/the vanilla, but kept everything else the same. I used the Vitamix to make the filling super smooth. The meringue came out great, it was really nice w/the touch of sweetness from the honey. This was a visually stunning pie, and I felt rather damn proud of myself!
The crust was perfect, definitely a keeper. However, I somehow ended up with way too much of it. I made it exactly as the recipe called for. I pressed it evenly into the pie pan, and it was thick all around. Looking at a slice of the pie, the crust on the bottom accounted for half as much space as the filling (so crust = 1/3 and filling = 2/3). And it was even thicker on the sides. Not sure how that happened, as the crust in your pictures looks like the perfect amount. I think I would've ended up with crust like that if I had halved the recipe.

CupcakesOMG! said...

@BethM your modifications sound delicious! I'm glad it turned out well. I don't remember having a lot of crust leftover from my recipe, but then again I might have! I think I just used what was needed out of the batch I made though, so it's possible I had some extra.

Gail said...

I'm the only one in the home that likes sweet potato pie. can these be frozen? I'm thinking cupcake size and individually freeze them for a great dessert while they are all eating a tub of ice cream ;)

Anonymous said...

Can I use cold/solid coconut oil instead of butter in the crust? I'm dairy intolerant and can honey be used in the filling not maple syrup (as that is what I have)??

Liv said...

I made this for my birthday tonight and it's the best thing I ever baked. EVER. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can't believe how well the crust turned out! I can't eat almond flour and I hadn't found any decent coconut flour crust recipes so I'll be using your crust recipe for many recipes I've avoided... until now!

Mindy said...

Melissa, just found your blog looking for Paleo recipes. Your story and instructions cracked me up. I'm looking forward to trying the recipe.

Jordan Sward @ Smile Sandwich said...

Well this looks nothing short of amazing ... and I'm totally ready for fall already. Thanks for the great idea!

Anonymous said...

Don't listen. That bastard is clearly a troll. And I am trolling a troll. Lol <3 looks amazing and you are beautiful! Definitely inspiring me to give this Paleo thing a try ;) I'm on my first day and my sweet tooth is driving me batty ...

Eric G. said...

Cooked this dessert last night - increased the amount of syrup and cut amount of crust by 1/3, and it came out marvelous! Thank for this recipe - I will be using it during the holidays with my family !

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