Even though winter is not my favourite season, as it draws to an end, I often find myself salvaging onto the last bits of it by going ice skating and, of course, indulging in delicious winter vegetables!
This time of year calls for comfort food, and what other way to enjoy winter than to put a spin on a classic dessert: sweet potato pie! But instead of a dessert, this scrumptious pie makes the perfect savoury yet sweet addition to a sophisticated dinner.
3 medium sweet potatoes
3 medium yellow onions
1 carrot, shredded
3 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or brown sugar, plus 1 extra tablespoon of brown sugar
Seasonings (to taste)
1/3 cup of shredded coconut
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley (optional)
*You can either fill a medium dish (about 9 by 9 inches and 2 inches tall) or use a food mold ring (http://tapphong.com/product/round-food-mold/) to make four individual pies like I did.
Heat a medium pot of water until it reaches a boil. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into medium-sized cubes, then cook in the pot for 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender enough to stick a fork through. Drain the water and reserve the potatoes and let them cool slightly (not too cold).
Peel and slice the onions. Heat a medium skillet with cooking oil and add the onions, followed by 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and salt and pepper for taste. Cook until lightly caramelized. Remove from the stove and reserve for later.
While the potatoes are still warm but not hot, mash with a ricer, or pulse with a blender or food processor. Add the milk, butter, and three tablespoons of maple syrup or brown sugar, then season with paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ground ginger as desired.
Mix the shredded carrot with one tablespoon of brown sugar, and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Reserve for later.
Now it’s time to layer the pie. The first layer is the mashed sweet potato mixture. Fill the pan or food mold about one-third of its height with the sweet potato. Next, evenly spread a thin layer of the caramelized onions on top, followed by the shredded carrots. Next top the pie with the coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds. I also added a bit of chopped parsley on top for colour. Place the pan or shaped pies (without the mold) into the oven for 10-12 minutes (or until the top of the pie starts getting lightly golden) at 325°F.