Happy Thanksgiving!

sweet potato pie 2

If there was one thing that I could transport from America to Finland, and I could not choose to have my family imported, Thanksgiving might be that one thing. It is one of my favorite holidays. I like the message that it contains; being thankful for the people and things in life and not just simply taking everything for granted. When life is smooth sailing it is not hard to find the things to be thankful for, but I would like to believe that even during the most trying times that there would be something positive in everyones’ lives. It just might need a little soul-searching to find them.
sweet potato
Here in Finland, the fourth Thursday in November is a normal school and business day. I would like to instill some of the American traditions in my children, especially the ones that are special to me. During the fall, it is possible to find the “jack-o-lantern” pumpkins in the grocery store, but not the variety pumpkin pies are made from. I have tried making them from the “jack-o-lantern” pumpkins sometime in the past and it was a watery mess. Yesterday I was reading Suzanne’s blog, a pug in the kitchen and she had made a pie using baked sweet potato. Perfect, I thought! The consistency, color and flavor are close enough. So today I made sweet potato pies with my go-to pumpkin pie recipe by Jane Whitman Tierney.
mashed sweet potato
To make things go smoother, I baked the sweet potatoes in their jackets for about an hour to an hour and a half the night before and just set them on a rack to cool overnight. The next morning I mashed them with my immersion mixer.
pie crust
First thing in the morning I started with the pie crust so that it would have some time to rest in the refrigerator.

Jane Whitman Tierney’s Pie Crust for one 23 cm/9 inch pie

You may make this pie crust by hand, in a food processor or in stand mixer using the paddle attachment. I made a triple amount and put the extras in the freezer for later use.

3 dl/1.3 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
115 g/4 oz cold butter cut into small cubes
1 and 1/2 tbsp cold lemon juice
2-3 tbsp ice water
lemon juice
I think that the secret to this pie crust is in the lemon juice giving it the perfect contrast to any pie filling.
Mix the flour, butter and salt so that it forms a crumb mixture. Add the ice water and cold lemon juice and mix until if forms a ball. Place in a plastic bag and allow to rest in the refrigerator. You may allow it to rest over night as well.

Roll out the dough on a table sprinkled with flour. Using a fork or your index finger and thumb make a pattern along the edge of the crust. Allow to chill for another 20-30 minutes before baking. This will prevent the pie crust from shrinking. Bake the crusts at 225 C/435 F for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. While the pie crusts are baking make the filling.

Filling

5 dl/generous 2 cups of mashed sweet potato (a raw 700 g/24 oz sweet potato will be needed for this amount)

2 eggs
1/2 dl/ 1/4 c sugar
1 dl/ 1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp ground cloves
dash of salt
2 dl/just under 1 cup of heavy cream

filled pies

Whip the eggs and sugars until they form a fluffly light brown foam. Mix the spices (I use smaller amounts than what the recipe calls for) into a small amount of the mashed sweet potato and combine the spice mixture with the rest of the sweet potatoes. Fold in the sweet potato mixture into the egg foam and finally mix in the heavy cream. Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie crusts and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 225 C/435 F. Reduce the temperature to 175 C/350 F and continue baking for another 40 minutes or so that skewer comes out clean when tested in the middle. Allow to cool until it is a luke warm and enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream.

sweet potato pieHappy Thanksgiving to everyone near and far!

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29 Comments

  1. Happy Thanksgiving and I love your sweet potato pie. Thank you for the shout out and trying the oven method. In my opinion it works so much better than boiling them. Your pie looks delicious. Have a wonderful day.

  2. And a happy thanksgiving to you my dear. Be going to Lisa’s this year, Gramma will be bringing wild rice casserole, cranberry sauce and single crust apple pie. Oh, and me.

    Love, Grampa

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you Laila…we shall be missing seeing a lot of grands this year. Sweet potato pie…why not…I wonder if that’s more often done in the South, here. Hugs, Gramma

    1. Thank you Gramma! It would be lovely to join all of you. The sweet potato pie turned out great…I had two slices already. The two little pies that I made have been put in the freezer and will be saved for Christmas for the siblings. Lots of hugs, Laila

  4. Thanksgiving is also the one piece of America I hope to transfer to my Australian life. I love its message and the non-commercial factor, but I’m changing the date. I treasure my summer Christmas celebrations, but the traditional foods we eat are far more suited to the northern hemisphere, so my plan is to celebrate an Australian Thanksgiving in June or July as we need a reason to gather family and friends for a traditional winter feast.

    We have great pumpkin available in Australia for pumpkin pie. I was horrified with the disaster that resulted with my first attempt to make pumpkin pie with the available pumpkins in America, so I relate to that mess. The sweet potato pie is a great idea,

    Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. I’m thankful I found your blog. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you have found a good pumpkin to use. I might have to grow one in the garden next summer.

      And your plan to celebrate Thanksgiving when you are having your winter months sounds wonderful. The menu is suited for the cooler weather, since it is quite heavy. I feel quite full just from eating the pie…and we didn’t have any turkey this time!

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! I think we both had the same thing on our minds today, missing this American holiday, our family and Pumpkin Pie! Sweet potato pie is a great idea, you can also try Hokkaido pumpkin (Red Kuri) which is what I used in my post today or butternut squash comes out great as a substitute for pumpkin pie too! I’ll have to try your sweet potato version sometime soon, though.

  6. A lovely looking pie. Happy Thanksgiving to you and others. We don’t celebrate it here in Australia. There are many other Aussie events throughout the year for which this pie would be very suitable. I am not keen to transport American traditions to Australia, not that I have anything against “Thanksgiving”. It is just very important to many here that we don’t lose our own culture, identity and traditions. Having said that,it is wonderful to be a part of an international cooking cummunity and to see how our sisters live, eat and celebrate on the opposite side of the world.

    1. I definitely agree with you, Francesca, that it is important to keep your own cultural and local identity alive. And in a way that is what I’m attempting to do since I grew up in the USA. I know that my kids are surrounded by the Finnish culture everyday but it is nice that they have access to two different cultural traditions. Hope you might have a chance to try out the pie sometime.

  7. I love sweet potato pie! I love Thanksgiving! (It’s my favorite holiday–the good food and good feelings, without all that hyped up gift-giving and over-decorating madness).

    My “sister” in Germany celebrates Thanksgiving every year with her family (although no one else does). She cooks the Turkey and dressing, the whole shebang. And thereby is somehow with us in spirit.

    And look, you were “with us,” too!

    1. I really like Thanksgiving too for the fact that it is not so commercial and more about spending quality time with friends and family. And I suspect that the whole Black Friday thing might not be for me either 🙂 But your tour that you gave in your post, sounded perfect!

      But the kids are eagerly awaiting for Christmas since today is the first day of Advent. And this morning they opened no. 1 on their calendars. 🙂

      1. We opened number one on our calendars, too. My German friend sent me an adults-chocolate Adventskalendar. Hubby and I are sharing, every other day is my turn. He was gallant and let me go first, which means I get one more candy than him.

    1. The baked sweet potato worked really well, and we had the last little smidgen this morning. Maybe some year I will make the whole meal…but then I would love to have some company over to share it with. 🙂

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