ABOUT THE RECIPE:
Sweet potatoes become a yummy dessert when combined with a bit of cinnamon and maple syrup and baked in a crisp cookie crust. These Maple-Sweet Potato Mini-Pies are a wonderful way to change up your dessert at holiday time in place of pumpkin pie, and they’re so easy to prepare, too!
Makes 6 servings
3 cups baked and chilled sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 large or 2 medium-large potatoes, see notes)
5 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour, gluten-free oat flour or gluten-free “1- to- 1” flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/4 cups vegan ginger cookie crumbs (see note)
3 rounded tablespoons vegan buttery spread, plus more for coating pan
6 pecan halves
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin with vegan buttery spread. Line each cup with two, 2- by 7-inch parchment paper strips. To make the filling, cut each cold sweet potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Put the sweet potato pulp, 3 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon into a medium-sized bowl and mash using a potato masher or large fork until combined. Add the flour to the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine.
To make the crust, put the cookie crumbs and vegan buttery spread into a small bowl and combine using a dough blender until the mixture resembles wet sand, adding a bit more vegan buttery spread if needed. Divide the crust ingredients evenly among the 6 muffin cups and press the crust evenly into the bottom of each cup. Fill each muffin cup with one-sixth of the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top of each mini pie with about 1/16 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bake for 35 minutes.
Put the pan on a wire rack and gently run a knife around the perimeter of each mini pie. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup into a small bowl. Top each little pie with 1 pecan half and, using a pastry brush or small spoon, spread some maple syrup over the top of each sweet potato pie. Let cool 30 minutes.
Using the paper strips, lift each pie out of the muffin cups. Carefully peel back and remove the paper strips from each pie. (The pies will be very soft while warm, so you may need to re-shape them a bit, at this point.) Put the pies on a serving plate and serve warm, loosely cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours to firm up, and serve cold. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator pies will keep 2 days.
Chef’s note: If you are cooking gluten-free, make certain to purchase certified gluten-free cookies, available in many supermarkets.
Chef’s note: The sweet potatoes may be baked up to 2 days in advance of preparing this recipe and stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator until use.
Chef’s note: You may use 3 cups of leftover, mashed sweet potatoes in this recipe.