Healthy Sweet Potato Pie

Pie…it’s trending right now, Potatoheads. But for some of us, our reaction to making pie is a lot like Miranda Hobbes’ reaction when her new cleaning woman gets her a rolling pin. We get all like: This is the 21st century…pie…really? We called it upon ourselves to find a way to make what we like to think of as “The Modern Pie.” It’s easier to make, and can invoke the same amount of satisfaction from your guests, significant other or house pet. Liz Moody – our recipes guru from Sprouted Roots – showed us how to do it. Because no, that apron’s not really us, but the sweet tooth is…

From Liz Moody of Sprouted Routes.

When the lovely ladies at The New Potato tasked me with creating “the definitive modern pie,” I got to thinking:  what was the definitive modern pie? To answer that question, I asked another one:  what did I hate about pie making as it typically existed?  I hate getting sweaty in the kitchen.  I hate slaving over the oven for hours.  I hate recipes that are finicky, and pie dough that works sometimes and not so well others, with no discernible reason either way.  I hate how traditional so many pie flavors are, and I hate how I feel after I eat pie:  my blood sugar rises then crashes, my stomach becomes full and bloated, and my teeth feel coated in the sickly sweetness.

The definitive modern pie would blend comforting flavors with new, exotic ones.  It would be easy enough for anyone (literally anyone!) to make, and it would, most of all, be healthy.  This Cardamom Sweet Potato Pie with Pistachio Rose Crumble fits the bill perfectly.  It’s gluten free, vegan, and paleo, so any dinner guest, no matter how discerning, can enjoy it.  It comes together with almost no work, and absolutely no special cooking skills.  The taste is a combination of classic Southern sweet potato pie – that warm hint of cinnamon in the crust is nothing but comfort – with an Ottolenghi-worthy twist courtesy of the cardamom, rosewater, and pistachios.  And thanks to a load of good fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, this is a pie you can feel good about eating even for breakfast, long after all of your guests are gone.

Ingredients:

Crust

10 Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup raw nuts of choice (mixed are also fine)

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 large sweet potato, unpeeled

2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (or 2 small cans of coconut cream)

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp salt

Crumble

⅔ cup raw shelled pistachios, crushed

Zest of 2 oranges

2 tbsp rose water

2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put sweet potato in oven over a pan or a bit of foil or parchment paper to catch any drips.  Roast until soft when squeezed, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, spread the nuts out in a single layer on a cookie sheet or pan and stick in oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Process toasted nuts and all remaining crust ingredients in a food processor until it forms one solid ball, and all sticks together.  Press into a parchment-lined pie pan, pressing the pie crust up to form pie’s edges.  Place in fridge to set while you make the filling.

Let sweet potato cool completely before scooping out its orange flesh.  Flesh should be about 1 cup, but a little over or under is fine.  Open coconut milk cans upside down; pour out watery liquid and reserve for another use, then scoop out white, solid coconut cream into food processor (no need to clean between this step and making the crust).  Add sweet potato flesh and all other filling ingredients to food processor and process until smooth. Spread evenly in pie crust.  I used a plastic bag with the tip cut off to dollop my filling in for a more decorative effect.  Place in fridge to set.

Mix together all crumble ingredients and spoon on top of pie.  Store in the fridge for up to 48 hours, or, for a firmer, less mousse-like texture, store in the freezer, letting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 1 pie.