Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus another 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 pre-baked pie crust (see pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup of pecans, half of them lightly chopped, the other half whole
1. Make the pie crust. (See pie crust recipe for instructions on pre-baking a pie crust.) If you use a store-bought frozen crust, you do not need to pre-bake it, just defrost it 10 minutes and prick the bottom all over with a fork before using.
2. Make the sweet potato purée. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potato pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato pieces are soft when poked with a knife or fork. Drain. Purée in a food processor until smooth. You may need to add back a little liquid (a tablespoon or two of water) to get a smooth consistency. Let cool completely before using.
3. Prepare the pie. Preheat the oven to 375.F. Place rack at bottom of oven. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup until smooth. Add the sweet potato purée, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 3/4 cup of cream. Mix until completely smooth. Pour into cooled crust.
4. Bake the pie. Bake on lowest rack for 50 minutes, until filling has set. You may want to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil or a pie crust protector to prevent the pie crust edges from burning. Cool on rack for one hour. Then transfer to refrigerator and chill completely.
5. Make the pecan topping. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp cream, and mix in. Add the pecans, mix to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture. Let cool for 1 minute. Pour mixture over cooled pie. Use a rubber spatula to spread topping over the top of the pie. Cool until topping has hardened, about 30 minutes. Serves 8.