Sweet potato pie seems like such an old fashioned dessert that some forget about it. Normally during Thanksgiving, you only think of sweet potatoes/yams when it comes to a side on your table. This year why not include a sweet potato pie along with a pumpkin pie and have your family see if they can notice a difference. This pie has an optional topping that some might love even more than a plain sweet potato pie. It will be up to you to decide if you want to include the additional steps.
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Do I Have to Put the Chocolate Ganache on Top?
If you do not want the chocolate ganache on top of your sweet potato pie, you can omit it from the recipe. This will give you the traditional sweet potato pie. But if I were you I would make one plain and one with the chocolate ganache and decide from there which you enjoy more.
Yams vs Sweet Potatoes: What’s the Difference?
“Sweet potato” and “Yam” are often used interchangeably, which can be very confusing.
Although they are both underground tuber vegetables, they are quite the opposite of their makeup.
They belong to different plant families, so why all of the confusion? This article explains the significant differences between the two. Sweet potatoes are known by their scientific name Ipomoea batatas, which are starchy root vegetables. They came from Central or South America, but North Carolina is currently the largest sweet potato producer. Oddly, sweet potatoes are hardly related to the potato.
Comparing to a white potato, the tuberous roots of the sweet potato plant is in the vegetable family. But, sweet potatoes are a very distinctive-looking tuber. They are long and tapered with skin that is smooth, can be different in color, from yellow, orange, red, brown, or purple to beige. Depending on the type, the flesh can range from white to orange to even purple.
There are two main types of sweet potatoes:
Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes with Dark-Skin
Compared to a golden-skinned sweet potato, these are much softer and sweeter, along with darker, copper-brown skin and bright orange flesh. Sweet potatoes tend to be fluffy and moist and are usually in the US.
Golden-Skinned, Pale-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes
This version is firmer with a light yellow inside and a light orange outside. Normally drier in texture and is less sweet than dark-skinned sweet potatoes counterpart.
The type of sweet potato doesn’t matter as, sweet potatoes are generally sweeter and more moist than regular potatoes.
They are a hearty vegetable. Golden-skinned sweet potatoes long shelf life allows them to be on sale all year. You will want to make sure they are stored correctly in a cool, dry place, they can keep last for 2 or 3 months at a time.
Sweet potatoes can be purchase in a variety of ways. They are sometimes whole and can be purchased individually. Some supermarkets have them individually wrapped and ready to be cooked in the microwave. You will also find them sold frozen or canned.
So What is a Yam?
Like their friend the sweet potato, yams are also a tuber vegetable.
They originate in Asia as well as Africa. You can now find them in the Caribbean along with Latin America too. There are over 600 varieties of yams. Ninety-five percent still grow in Africa.
Yams can grow very large, unlike a sweet potatoe. The size can range from the size of a small potato up to 5 feet. Yams can weigh up to a whopping 132 pounds.
Yams have characteristics that help distinguish them from sweet potatoes, mostly their size and skin.
They are more cylinder shaped, their skin is brown, and almost bark-like that makes it hard to peel, as it heats the skin becomes softer. The color inside varies from white or yellow to purple or pink in mature yams.
Yams have their own taste, too. Yams compared to sweet potatoes, are less sweet and much more dry and starchy.
In the US, actual yams can be hard to get. Since they are imported they hardly found in your supermarket stores. International or ethnic food stores are where you are more apt to find them.
Why Do People Confuse Them?
So much confusion surrounds the terms of sweet potatoes and yams.
Both names interchangeable and often mislabeled in supermarkets. I actually found out the last time I used the self-checkout at our local supermarket. I put in Sweet potato and it didn’t come up, so the girl came over and said, oh it is under yams. So they too are confused.
Besides, the dark skin, orange-flesh sweet potato variety only came to the US several decades ago. To keep them separate from the lighter-skinned sweet potatoes, they are labeled yams which doesn’t help with the confusion.
Many vegetables that are labeled as a “yam” in US supermarkets are just different varieties of the sweet potato.
Sweet Potato Pie with Chocolate Ganache
- 1 9 inch pre-made pie crust
- 3 C mashed sweet potato About 4-6 medium to large sweet potatoes
- ½ C unsalted sweet cream butter melted
- 3 large eggs room temp
- ⅓ C light brown sugar
- ½ C sugar
- ½ C sweetened condensed milk
- ½ C evaporated milk
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake for 40 minutes or until tender.
- Let cool, then peel and remove any dark spots.
- In a standing mixture, beat the sweet potatoes, butter, eggs, sugars, milk, and all the spices until combined and smooth.
- Pour the pie filling into the pre-made pie crust.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until set.
- Remove from oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool to room temp.
- Once cooled, place pie into the fridge overnight.
- Using a small pot, bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil.
- Pour over the 1 C chocolate chips in a medium bowl.
- Allow to sit for 1 minute before whisking until smooth.
- Pour the ganache over the sweet potato pie and smooth evenly.
- Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top.
- Place into the fridge and allow the ganache to set for an hour before serving.
The other 50 minutes is baking the pie itself. The pie will need to be refrigerated overnight before putting the topping on.
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