If you missed spending Thanksgiving with your nieces and nephews but plan on spending time with them in upcoming weeks, this is the perfect recipe to prepare with them. They love scooping out the sweet potatoes once they cool down and they have a blast “smushing” the cookie crumbs into a crust. This recipe is also ideal for any nieces or nephews that suffer from food sensitivities – it can be made gluten – and dairy-free. And if they can’t eat nuts, just add in some extra gluten-free cookie crumbs to replace the walnuts. You can also try using cinnamon-sugar cookies for the crust – which is what I ended up using for Thanksgiving last week and the pie turned out delicious!
1 ½ cup gingersnap crumbs (grind about 8 ounces of gluten-free or regular gingersnap cookies in a food processor)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (if you need to omit nuts, see notes below)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
2 cups jewel yams (approximately 2 medium ones)
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt (omit this if you want a dairy-free dish)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
8 walnut halves for garnish
Optional: whipped cream for topping
Bake sweet potato yams
Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke holes potatoes with fork. Place yams on a lined baking sheet and bake until tender, about 1hour. Cool slightly and remove peel.
Decrease oven to 350°F. Blend gingersnap crumbs, walnuts, sugar and salt in food processor until walnuts are finely chopped. Add butter and process until mixture forms moist crumbs. Press crust onto bottom and up the sides of 9-inch-diameter pie pan.
Mash baked sweet potatoes yams with fork. Add yogurt, maple syrup, orange juice, vanilla extract, egg, spices and salt and stir until smooth. Pour into crust and smooth out top. Place walnut halves around edges.
Bake until filling is set in the center, about 40 minutes. Cool pie on rack. Serve warm or chill until cold. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Spoon sweetened whipped cream on top of pie between walnuts, if desired.
Preparation time: 2 hours
Recipe by Julie Negrin © 2006
-To simplify your preparation, bake the potatoes and grind the cookies into crumbs the day before you bake the pie.
-If your crust is getting too dark, remove pie from oven and create a round foil “tent” that covers only the crust and place it back in the oven until filling is “set” and doesn’t jiggle.
-If you need to serve a nut-free dish, just add around 1/4 cup of extra cookie crumbs – adjust the crumb mixture so that it sticks together but isn’t too wet..
-This dish can be made 1-2 days in advance of serving it. Just simply warm it up on the oven at 200-250 for 15-20 minutes – but keep an eye on the crust so that it doesn’t get too dark.
-For those of you who keep kosher, it should be relatively easy to find gluten-free gingersnap cookies with a hecksher (kosher certification).