Sweet Potato Bourbon Pie


Why would you want your sweet potato pie to look (and taste) like a pumpkin pie? This double-pastry pie flaunts its sweet potatoes in bright orange slices. Brown sugar and bourbon highlight their earthy appeal. Serve warm with vanilla or caramel ice cream.

Rustic Pie Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
1/4 cup vodka, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

Pie Filling:
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup bourbon
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

In a food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the vodka and ice water all at once and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. The mixture should easily clump when pressed. Form the dough into 2 balls; press into round disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a saucepan; add 2 cups water and the salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain; shock in ice-cold water to cool. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out one of the disks of dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a circle 1/8-inch thick. Remove one of the sheets of parchment paper (if dough begins to soften or to stick to the parchment paper, slide it onto a cookie sheet, parchment and all, and freeze 5 to 10 minutes). Invert over a pie pan, remove the other sheet of parchment, and gently ease crust into pan, allowing dough to hang over the edge of the pan. Refrigerate the dough-lined pan while rolling out remaining crust between 2 sheets of parchment paper; chill that as well.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato slices, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir gently to combine. Add the bourbon, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Remove the dough-lined pie pan from the refrigerator and spoon the filling and all liquid into the pan. Dot the top with the 2 tablespoons butter. Remove one sheet of parchment from the remaining circle of dough. Invert over filled pie crust. Trim excess dough to 1/2 inch overhang. Roll dough underneath itself so that the outer edge is even with the edge of the pan. Crimp edges into a fluted pattern.

4. Cut some vents into the top crust. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is browned and you can hear the filling bubbling. (If edges get too brown, cover with strips of aluminum foil.) Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 servings. Preparation time: 35 minutes. Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes