Monday, February 3, 2014

Ruth's Chris-style Sweet Potatoes

Ruth's Chris-style Sweet Potatoes - made January 24, 2014 from The Girl Who Ate Everything
I have been having a recently discovered love for sweet potatoes. I've tried them baked, boiled and fried and loved them all. I may never eat a white potato again. Even when it comes to fries, I'll go for sweet potato fries instead of their regular white potato counterpart. And sweet potatoes are better for you anyway. Not that I necessarily always, often or even sometimes base my eating choices on nutrition - this is just a happy coincidence.
One version I've always been conceptually against was the sweet potato pie. I think it's because when I first tried sweet potatoes, it was in pie form and it was like over-sugared, heavily spiced mush and my initial reaction was, "ew, who eats this stuff?" It ranked right down there with pumpkin pie and I dislike pumpkin pie intensely. It took me years to try sweet potatoes again and since I have, I've only had them the way I've made them, whether they're just boiled, baked or caramelized or pan fried. It was all good.
But every once in awhile, I pretend I'm open-minded about trying new foods and actually follow through. Such was the case in making this sweet potato pie. I've never been to a Ruth's Chris before since we don't have one near me but I've heard about it and most people seem to love their food so I was curious to try this recipe. I'm not going to lie - when I first looked it through, I couldn't help but wonder why anyone would take something as wholesomely good as a plain sweet potato and add all this "stuff" to it, thereby making it somewhat bad for you and negating all the good nutrition to be found in a sweet potato. But I forged ahead with it as I had three sweet potatoes to use up and I was able to get enough out of them to make half this recipe.

Turns out being open-minded was a good thing as I really enjoyed this pie. Specifically, I loved the topping. It's hard not to like crunchy streusel topping perfectly sweetened with brown sugar and with the added crunch and flavor of toasted pecans to contrast with the smoothness of the sweet potato filling. I'm not convinced plain mashed sweet potatoes wouldn't be better since I really couldn't taste much of a difference in adding the sugar, eggs and butter to the mashed sweet potatoes but I would definitely keep the topping. We're past Thanksgiving so perhaps it's not the season for sweet potato pie anymore but I'd consider making this for Thanksgiving dinner as a side dish or even a dessert - it's really good.
Crust (Topping)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup butter, melted

Sweet Potato mixture
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (I peeled, sliced and boiled mine)
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
splash of milk if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a medium-size casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. For the crust: Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large mixing bowl in the order listed. Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer for about 3-4 minutes to increase the fluffiness of the sweet potato mixture. Add a splash of milk if needed and mix.
  4. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. At this point, dish can be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days.
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
  6. The brown sugar and pecan crust should be slightly browned and crunchy. Makes 12 servings.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really yummy! I love sweet potatoes!! Thanks for sharing :)