Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Sweet Potato Pie

Usually, I don’t make sweet potato pies.  Though they’re not the same as pumpkin, they’re similar enough that I don’t usually feel the need to make both.  But since I took on the (insane) task of making seventy plus cup pies to bring home for Christmas, I decided to mix it up.  And since sweet potato has a different flavor and texture than pumpkin, I figured doing both would allow some variety.

Sweet potato pie is similar in technique to pumpkin pie.  There are different spices, and I prefer mashed sweet potatoes instead of pureed, but the ingredients are similar.  It’s a pretty delicious pie.  I like a little brown sugar in it, as well as some cinnamon and vanilla.  It has no pecans in it, and besides that it resembles sweet potato casserole in flavor profile.

If you are a marshmallow person when it comes to sweet potatoes, you could add some into the mashed potatoes.  I personally do not like marshmallows in my pies or casseroles, but it acts the same as cheese in a pear pie, it gives some creaminess and a little goo that isn’t there with just the potatoes.

Sweet Potato Pie

2 sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed

1 cup heavy cream

3 eggs


1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

Pie dough (recipe here)

Peel, chop, boil, and mash your potatoes.  Set aside.  Beat eggs.  Add in sugar and vanilla.  Stir in heavy cream.  Slowly add potatoes to this mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes at 475*, then for 40 minutes at 350*

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Tarheel Pie

Growing up, my grandmother made a chocolate chess pie.  It is essentially a chocolate pie.  It’s so rich you’ll have a hard time finishing just a sliver of a slice.  The last time I made a chocolate pie (my friends Emilie and Laura were having a chocolate party) only a third of it got eaten, which left Dan and I with most of a pie.  Which is not good for the wedding diet, let me tell you.

Anyhoo, the Tarheel Pie is a variation of the chocolate chess pie.  Essentially, it’s a chocolate pie with pecans in it.  I first saw the pecan addition on the back of a postcard.  Either way I assume it’s still a chocolate chess pie, but Tarheel Pie just seems so much more… well, authentic to the Tarheel State.  And you know that if nothing else, I’m true to the products of the Old North State.  Politics aside.  And 90% of their basketball teams I could do without.  Okay, mostly just the food.

This pie is about as complicated as a pecan pie.  There are more ingredients, so the extra complication really comes in the shopping.  It’s so easy… if you didn’t make your own pie crust you could be done with this in five minutes.  And this is another one of those pies that people will be mystified by, you get all of the credit for making something delicious from scratch, and really only a minimal amount of work.

Tarheel Pie

1 cup chocolate chips

1 stick melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

Pie dough (bottom only, recipe here)

Pour hot butter over chocolate chips and stir until fully incorporated.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to chocolate. Pour into pie shell.

Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes.

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Pecan Pie

I would like to preface any and all interactions that you and I have with pecans by mentioning that I pronounce them the phonetic way, as is traditional in the south.  So when you’re reading these recipes and your eyes skim over this understated word, think “pea-can.”  Any other pronunciation is just silly.

Speaking of pronunciations.  So Dan is from Pennsylvania, a place where there are a’plenty of towns and rivers and bridges with Native American names (or Western interpretations of Native American words) that I just cannot wrap my tongue around.  I’m not insinuating it’s a southern thing.  I was told by a friend a few years back that it’s because I was raised to read words phonetically, as opposed to blending the words, sounding out each letter.  Take for instance, the Washington State town of Puyallup.  Now when I see the word Puyallup, I break it down into what ends up coming out of my mouth as “Poo-y’all-up.”  I have been informed that this is not the way they in Puyallup prefer to have it pronounced.  No, it is actually something that sounds like “puh-wallup.”  I digress.

Pecan pie is gloriously simple to make.  For a pie with such a complex taste, it almost feels like cheating.  There is a small amount of whisking, a little measuring, some crunching, and a lot of salivating as it bakes, but really, there’s nothing to it.  I like to make pecan pie with a little brown sugar in the crust.  As well as a little cinnamon.  I think that a slightly cinnamon crust on pies like pecan and chocolate chess that don’t have cinnamon in the filling give it a little extra oomph.  Also, if you wanted to add a bit of chocolate to this, make it something like an inverse chocolate chess pie, it’d be delicious.

Pea-can Pie

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup chopped (or crushed) pecans

Pie crust (bottom only- see recipe here)

Melt butter and set aside to cool.  Beat eggs, then add sugar, syrup, and butter.  Whisk together.  Incorporate pecans.

Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

(you feel like a con artist, don’t you?  maybe like it’s semi-homemade?  well set aside the guilt sandra lee, this is 100% you and you don’t have to let on how easy it was)

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