Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie – Halloween Recipe

In the West they have all sorts of pumpkin and squash varieties for those warm autumn recipes and a perfect Halloween with the Jack O’Lantern pumpkins. Here in the Middle East we are only really used to seeing the Crock-necks and Butternut squashes, which are not really ideal for carving and have a less vibrant color than the original Jack O’Lantern.

Canned pumpkin puree is also a staple product in Western supermarkets that we can’t get here in Egypt. Nevertheless, you guys know that will I stop at nothing to find substitutes here in Egypt because Halloween is my favorite time of the year! We seem to forget that we have pretty good sweet potatoes almost all-year round. The sweet starchy flesh of these guys will put even the greatest of pumpkins to shame. I just roasted them for an hour, peeled them, mashed them and the resulting puree was quite rich just eaten on its own. Good, old ‘batata mashweya’!!

I have also included a simple pie crust recipe in this post, but you can use any of your favorite pie crust recipes if you already have one. Just a word of advice, try to use a glass (Pyrex) pie dish, so that you can check and tell when the crust is fully cooked on the bottom.

So rather than running around the country looking for imported pumpkins, I will show you how to go entirely local this year 😉

  • Ingredients:
    • For the pie crust dough:
      • 300 g AP flour
      • 150 g butter
      • 1 egg
      • 35 g sugar
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1 to 2 Tbsp icy cold water
    • For the filling:
      • 600 g sweet potato (or pumpkin) puree – this was the yield of almost 1 kg of raw, unpeeled sweet potatoes
      • 400 g sweetened condensed milk – basically 1 can
      • 2 eggs
      • 2 Tbsp brown sugar – you can put double the amount if you want it sweeter
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
      • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
      • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Method:
    • For the pie crust:
      1. Cut your butter into small half-inch cubes and blend them into the flour until you get a coarse crumb that resembles wet sand.
      2. Beat the sugar, egg and salt together until dissolved and combined.
      3. Add the wet mixture along with one tablespoon of water to the flour and butter crumbs. Mix to combine into a cohesive dough, but be careful not to knead it or overwork it at this stage. You could do all of the above steps in a food processor but I personally find that it can easily overwork the dough and melt the butter, so I prefer to do it by hand. Also, less equipment to wash up afterwards :))
      4. Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3 – the 1/3 will be your top crust.
      5. Shape the dough balls into thick discs and wrap them in separate cling films. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
      6. Take out the chilled dough and roll the larger disc (2/3) into a 1/4 inch round sheet.
      7. Carefully wrap the sheet around the rolling pin and unroll it onto your pie dish. Carefully press the edges of the dough into the dish.
      8. Cut or tuck the excess dough edge and crimp it to create a fluted rim. Refrigerate with a loose sheet of cling film over the top.
      9. Roll out the smaller disc and create whatever spooky shapes your heart desires. If you wanted to make a colored top crust (like I did), then you would need to add the food coloring at the beginning before refrigerating the dough the first time.
      10. Place your cut shapes and decorations on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator.
    • For the filling:
      1. Put your mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add the eggs. Whisk well with a wire whisk until fully combined.
      2. Add the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until homogenous.
      3. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla and spices while giving the mixture a final whisk to distribute the flavors evenly.
      4. Take out your pie dish from the refrigerator and pour the filling into the shaped dough.
      5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bottom of the pie crust gets a nice golden brown color and the filling is set.
      6. Take out the top crust or whatever spooky shapes you have cut out of the 1/3 portion of the crust dough and bake them until golden brown.
      7. Once your pie has cooled down completely chill it until serving time.
      8. Serve with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder on top. Happy Halloween!

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