It’s a little cooler this week. The temps are only suppose to be in the high 80’s to low 90’s, instead of triple digits. Even though it’s still August, here in our part of the world, school has started. There was a big jamboree at my kids’ old high school yesterday. Proud to announce that their Alma mater pulled out the win over a school in the area that they’ve never played before. This other school is a big public school and the one that my boys attended is a small independent school. There has been a lot of boasting over the years from both schools; both believing that they could beat the other. Well… that was settled last night. Good sportsmanship prevailed on both sides. Each school did the county proud.
I mentioned all of that to bring up autumn. The start of school always ushers in cooler temperatures with skies clear and high. Next month is my favorite month. Ah, Septrmber. The air is less humid, the leaves start to fall ( mainly because we don’t get much rain this time of year). Mums on the porch. Potted pansies. Stacked pumpkins in an old rusty wheel barrow.
Two favorite staples in this Southern Exile’s kitchen are sweet potatoes and pecans. Please, people, it is pronounced peh-cons. I don’t eat, cook or bake with anything called a peecan! A peecan is what an environmentalist takes with him to the woods. Now, what do you want to eat: pecans or peecans? Ain’t no amount of sugar or butter gonna make the latter taste good. Peh-cons. Pecans. Say it. Dig down deep and say it right.
Okay, enough of that. Sweet potato pie starts making its appearance at the table this time of year. It’s good warm from the oven or cold from the frig. Here’s one way that I make it:
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled till tender
1/2 stick of butter
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 partially baked pie shell
Whole pecan halves
What to do:
Drain and mash sweet potatoes, along with the butter. Pour in the entire can of sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice. Mix together. In a small bowl, whisk egg, adding a little bit of sweet potato mixture to it. This is tempering the egg; adding the egg straight to the warm sweet potato would cook the egg. Not good. Not what you want. Add in your tempered egg and mix it in thoroughly to your sweet potato. Pour into your partially baked pie shell. Around the edge of the pie, place a ring of pecan halves perpendicular to the crust ( and you thought you’d never use geometry). Place the pie on a sturdy cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Tip: Check the pie crust half way through baking, to make sure it isn’t getting too brown. A pie guard is a great tool in the kitchen. If you don’t have one, cut out the bottom of an aluminum pie plate and it will do the trick. Covering the edges with loose tinfoil will work, but the pie is hot by this point, etc.