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Recipe Finder | Sweet potato pie

Joyce Lindsay of Baltimore wrote in search of a good recipe for a sweet potato pie. She was hoping to make one for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year but no longer has a recipe.

Constance Methvin, also of Baltimore, shared her recipe for making sweet potato pie. She used to bake the pie for Bertha's Restaurant and Bar in Fells Point and they were very popular. She made her pies with the flesh from freshly baked sweet potatoes and then used a basic pumpkin pie recipe using the sweet potato puree in place of the pumpkin and tweaking the spices just a bit. She said it's possible to cheat a little and use canned sweet potatoes for convenience; if the spices are done right it will be hard to notice the difference in the finished pie. If you have the time, I would recommend you bake the sweet potatoes — it's easy enough and I think it tastes better.

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Methvin did not include a recipe for the pie shell, but just about any basic dough will work with this pie. If you are worried about making a pie crust from scratch, this filling is so good and rich that I think you can get away with using a store-bought crust. I prefer the ones in the refrigerator case to the frozen ones. This pie is so luscious, I don't see any reason why you have to wait until Thanksgiving to bake one.

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Vivian Hyatt of Bel Air is in search of a recipe for a spaghetti dish she remembers making in her home economics class at Perry Hall Middle School in the late 1960s.

The uncooked spaghetti was put directly into the frying pan with the sauce and cooked until done — the entire dish was cooked in the pan . Hyatt remembers that it included Worcestershire sauce and had a tangy, delicious flavor. Her mother disposed of the recipe long ago, and she Hyatt searched the Internet for years with no luck.

Jack Zeiger of Baltimore is looking for the recipe for cheese toast served at Hutzler's department store. He remembers that the toast was used on the shrimp salad sandwich at the Westview store back in the day. He and his wife have tried for many years to duplicate the bread with no luck.

Sweet potato pie

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Makes 8 servings

3-4 good-sized sweet potatoes

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon mace

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 heavy cream

3 tablespoons rum

1 large egg white, beaten to blend

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell

Pierce the potatoes with fork. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until they're soft and slightly caramelized on the outside. Cut open; cool completely. Scrape the potato flesh into a bowl; mash until smooth. Measure enough potato puree to equal 2 cups.

Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees.

Place sweet potato puree in large bowl. Whisk in brown sugar and then add the rest of the ingredients, except the egg white. Mix until smooth. Brush the prepared pie shell with beaten egg white. Transfer the filling to the crust.

Bake the pie until the filling is puffed around the edges and set in the center, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack; cool. (The pie can be made a day ahead, just cover and refrigerate it.)

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