Desserts: The Sweet Potato Pie Disaster

posted in: Regrets | 8


Everything was going fine and dandy, taking the sweet potato option from the pumpkin pie recipe in Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” Until pre-baking the pie crust. I’ve made my pie crust recipe (seen in Weeknight Apple Maple Walnut Pie) numerous times and never once encountered the dough sinking into the bottom of the pan, the edges repelling from their base. Even when making quiche, I pre-bake the crust a good fifteen minutes or so and never saw anything like this. So I’m concluding that it was the aluminum pie pan, which I was using because I was taking this pie with me to a house party. Those things should be sold with a boldface warning label on them! Does this happen to anyone else? Or only me, when I’m trying to impress my friends by bringing a seasonal dessert to a potluck Halloween party? I was hoping this was going to make up for my not getting dressed up. (Okay, so I had this great idea to dress up as a Red Army Communist China soldier, but I didn’t make it to Chinatown to get the cap and stuff in time. Plus, it wouldn’t look quite right if I brought a homemade sweet potato pie dressed up like that.)

Fine and dandy


It also didn’t help matters that when I was poking holes in the bottom crust with a fork, the pie pan was placed on the stove, and the fork punctured the aluminum straight through. (Luckily, the sweet potato mixture didn’t seep out.)

I’m glad to have survived this disaster with a sloppy, yet tasty-looking dessert. It’ll be dark in there anyway. Maybe I’ll get a can of whipped cream and make a big goofy smiley face all over the pie, costuming its and my shame.

Sweet potato custards made with the leftover filling baked in a muffin tin made a tasty snack

8 Responses

  1. sixty-five

    Did you chill the crust before baking?

  2. Mr Atrocity

    A couple of things I’ve found that help is first make sure your butter/fat is as cold as possible before working it into the flour and secondly try to work the pastry as little as possible. I don’t usually chill the pastry before rolling it out but I know that helps a lot of people.

    I also make my pastry by hand; I don’t use a food mixer at all. Whether that has an impact or not I don’t know.

  3. cathy

    Thanks for the suggestions…I chilled this dough overnight and had to get a man’s help to roll it out since it was so hard. Maybe it was the spirits of Halloween?

  4. sixty-five

    Hmmm. Shouldn’t have been that hard to roll out! Maybe it needed a few drops more liquid to begin with, or you tried to roll it out before it was “ready”. I remember how Julia Child always used to WHAM the little round of pastry with the side of the rolling pin at this stage – repeatedly – until it was at a “malleable” stage. I do this automatically now.

  5. Cathy

    True, true…

  6. Yvo

    Aww, if it makes you feel better I looked at the picture and read the headline, and was like “What’s wrong with it? It looks fine” and didn’t know what you were talking about until I read “repelled from the sides”. I can’t bake really so I can’t say much. Also I have no counterspace for rolling out dough, so I won’t be trying pie anytime soon either. Awww, I’m sure it was delicious!

  7. smash

    I was flipping through a Cooking Light the other day, and they say you should put your pie pan/empty shell into the fridge before baking.

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