meringue topped sweet potato pie
PREP TIME 15 mins, plus chilling, COOK TIME 1 1⁄2 hours
1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
14oz (400g) sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup muscovado sugar
3 tbsp half-and-half
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
For the meringue:
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 For the pastry, rub the flour and butter together in a bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract to the flour
mixture and bring together to form a smooth dough, adding 1–2 teaspoons cold water, if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2 For the filling, cook the sweet potato chunks in a saucepan of boiling water for 10–15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to the pan, and mash. Stir in the butter, sugar, cream, egg, and spices. Beat well to combine, then set aside.
3 Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a round large enough to line a 8in (20cm) loosebottomed tart pan. Place the pastry in the pan, pressing down well into the bottom and around the edges. Trim off any excess pastry, prick the bottom with a fork, and line with parchment paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes if the center is uncooked.
4 Spoon the filling into the pastry case and level with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until the filling is set. Just before the filling is set, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Whisk in the sugar and cornstarch.
5 Remove the pie from the oven and spread the meringue over the top, making sure it is attached to the pastry on all sides (this will keep it from shrinking). Return the pie to the oven and cook for a further 10–15 minutes until the meringue is golden. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.