Sweet potato pie is probably my favorite dessert during the holidays. Coming from the south, I enjoyed this sweet treat every Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a twist this year, I decided to make miniature versions. These individual “small bites” are perfect for a dinner party or a cocktail party holiday buffet. The recipe is an adaptation from one I got from my nephew, Ron, in Houston. He makes batches of these and pecan pies just about every weekend throughout football season.
Mini Sweet Potato Pies
recipe assistance from my nephew Ron Johnson
2 cu All Purpose Flour
1/2 cu Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 3 whole graham crackers crushed in a food proocessor)
1 1/2 sticks cold Butter (12 tablespoons), diced
6 oz Cream Cheese, torn into small pieces
1 1/3 lb Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” cubes
1 tbl Butter
2/3 cu Brown Sugar
2/3 cu Granulated Sugar
1/3 cu Evaporated Milk, plus 1 tablespoon
2 lg Eggs, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 cu Whipping Cream
1/4 cu Powdered Sugar
24 cup Mini Muffin Pan
Leaf Pattern Pie Crust Cutter*
Place flour, graham cracker crumbs, butter and cream cheese in a food processor. Process until mixture comes together. Remove from food processor and knead dough into a ball. Separate about 1/4 of the dough and wrap both portions in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour.
Place sweet potatoes in a large pot. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, drain thoroughly and allow to cool. Place potatoes in a large bowl and mash. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon and set it aside in the refrigerator. Add the butter to the remaining potatoes and stir until smooth. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly blended and place in a sealable plastic bag.
After dough has refrigerated for an hour, divide the larger piece into 4 quarters. Work with one quarter at a time while returning the others to the refrigerator. Divide the quarter into 6 smaller pieces. Flatten each piece to form about a 2” circle. Press circle into the bottom and sides of one of the cups of the muffin pan and form a uniform lip at the top. Repeat with the remaining pieces and quarters of the dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make a 1/2” cut to one corner of the bag and pinch it with your fingers to keep filling from oozing out. While holding the bag and the corner, carefully release the filling into each of the pastry cups to just below the rim. If you have leftover filling, squeeze it into small ramekins (optional) and bake them along with the muffin pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes until filling puffs up and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
Roll out remaining dough to a 1/16” thickness. Using the pie crust cutter, cut at least 24 “leaves” and place them on a baking lined with either parchment or a baking pad. Bake until leaves are golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add the 1 tablespoon of mashed sweet potato and the powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Remove mini pies from the pan and place on a serving platter. Spoon or pipe a bit of whipped cream on each and top with a leaf.
*Pie crust cutters are available online or in cooking stores (here’s a link to a 4 shape set). As an alternative, cut the flattened dough into 1” leaf shapes with a sharp knife.