Thursday, November 23, 2017

Purple Sweet Potato Pie for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Pie Alternative

Purple Sweet Potato Pie

An Alternative to the Traditional Pumpkin Pie

Slice of my Purple Sweet Potato Pie
This year, I wasn't able to quickly procure any pumpkin puree for my traditional gluten-free Thanksgiving dessert of choice, so I decided to get a bit creative and work with what I had at hand: purple sweet potatoes!  I really like these potatoes roasted, by themselves, as they are smooth textured and quite sweet and flavorful. So, I figured, why not?  I can make a gluten-free pie from these things just as easily as pumpkin!


I didn't take time to really measure any of the ingredients, as I just took a best-guess at what would be ideal.  But, this is approximately the quantities that I used:
  • Purple Sweet Potatoes — not quite a Kilogram (perhaps 1.5 - 2 pounds). I had some thinner potatoes that were relatively long but only an inch or so in diameter. This allowed them to bake quickly, and the bake time would have to be increased if they were thicker.
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 Kilo of plain yogurt or Fromage Blanc
  • A few tablespoons of molasses
  • A tablespoon of Date syrup that I have been wanting to try in a recipe
  • A tablespoon of cane sugar
  • A tablespoon of ground cinnamon — I would have also added some other pumpkin-pie spices (clove, nutmeg, etc), but for some reason I couldn't find any in the house (now on shopping list!)
  • A teaspoon of vanilla
  • A teaspoon of cocoa — just on a whim; surely not needed.
  • A tablespoon of cornstarch


I started by roasting a batch of purple sweet potatoes in a cast-iron pan in the oven, for about an hour or so, which cooked them through nicely and caramelized the outer skins fairly well too.

Next, after they cooled down a bit, I added ½ of the yogurt/fromage-blanc into the pan I roasted them in, along with the now just warm potatoes, and used a mixing wand (aka: an immersion blender, stick blender, wand blender, hand blender, etc) to really mash and blend the potatoes until all the skins were well pulverized and incorporated into a smooth purple mixture.

I then moved this mixture over into my stand-mixer's bowl. Next I added the remainder of the yogurt, the eggs, and the rest of the ingredients and just allowed the mixer to beat it until it was all smooth and consistent. 

After cleaning out my cast-iron pan (in which I originally roasted the potatoes) and spraying it with a bit of oil, I just poured my pinkish-purple mixture into the pan (no crust used today — I was feeling lazy).  Then, I baked it for about 2 hours at a relatively low temperature of between 300 and 325 degrees F.


When the pie came out of the oven, I would have thought it was a pumpkin pie from the color of the surface!  It looked so similar to a pumpkin pie!  I could hardly wait to see if the inside retained its purple hue.

And, well, it kept some of its color on the inside.  I could clearly see a few bits of the brighter reddish / purple bits of potato skin throughout the pie, but it now had a more subdued pinkish hue; a shade that was sorta pink but slightly tan also.  I cannot claim it is the most desirable color (I so wish it would have stayed purple), but I am not eating it for color, but rather the taste.

As for taste: I rather like it!  Yes, it is different from pumpkin, but, it retains much of the same texture and sweetness, and with the cinnamon and vanilla, it more directly makes me compare it to a pumpkin pie (I really wish I had the clove and other pumpkin-pie spices that I am used to using).  Either way, I consider it a relative success and I would make it again. 

Thanksgiving will at least feature a gluten-free pie this year, one way or the other.

Gluten-Free Purple Sweet Potato Pie : Pumpkin-Pie Alternative
Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

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