Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini Raw Sweet Potato Caramel Pecan Pies


 
Sweet potato pie may be a common thing down south, but I admit that before last weekend I had never in my life had a bite of it.  I was chopping a large amount of sweet potatoes last week at work, and I started thinking about it for some reason.  I was curious as to how different it would be from pumpkin so I decided that I needed to try making some.  A raw version of course!

 
I was pleasantly surprised by how much sweeter the raw sweet potatoes were than raw squash...I knew this was going to be good!  For the filling I added some richness in the form of coconut and coconut oil.  It tasted amazing even before I poured it into the crust.


I wanted the crust to be crunchy and nutty so a combination of pecans and dried sprouted buckwheat laced with sweet dates did the trick!  The pie could have been topped with some coconut cashew cream which would have been more traditional, but I decided instead that it needed some caramel and pecans!


The caramel and pecans were the right choice, I knew from my first bite!  It was delicious, like a sweeter pumpkin pie...actually better than any pumpkin pie I have ever tasted.  I may just be making sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin for Thanksgiving next year.


Mini Raw Sweet Potato Caramel Pecan Pies
Makes 2

Crust:
1/2 cups pecans

1 cup finely shredded, dried coconut
1 1/2 cups sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat (or additional pecans)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped


Filling:
2 cups raw sweet potatoes or yams, cubed
1/2 cup young coconut meat or soaked cashews (drained)
2 Tbsp coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, or raw agave nectar or raw local honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp raw pecan or almond  butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, raw agave nectar or raw local honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water

1 cup raw pecan halves

Spray two 4 inch pie or tart pans, lined with plastic wrap to make removal easier. To prepare the crust, process pecans, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottoms of the pans, and set aside in the freezer to firm up.

To make the filling, combine the sweet potatoes, coconut meat, coconut water, nectar, spices, sea salt, vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Add the coconut oil with the processor running to evenly distribute it, and process for about a minute. If desired, press the filling mixture through a fine meshed strainer to remove any sweet potato bits (you can skip this but the filling may not be as smooth.) Pour the filling into four the four prepared crusts. Place in the freezer until it is set,about 2 hours.
 
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth, then press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel).

Once pies have set, arrange the pecans decoratively on top of the pies.  Place caramel in a pastry bag and pipe over the top in a criss cross fashion.  Serve!

10 comments:

  1. I love how high the little pies are :-).

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    1. Me too! I love pies with plenty of filling :)!

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  2. Next time I'm roasting sweet potatoes with a curry, I'll be dreaming of your dessert, Amy!

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    1. Awesome! I love the smell of them roasting :)!

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  3. Adore the vivid colors of autumn in your Mini Sweet Potato Caramel Pecan Pies! And the fresh, vivid flavor from the raw ingredients is just divine!

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    1. Thanks so much :)! It is awesome how naturally beautiful the sweet potato flesh is!

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  4. This looks just divine Amy!!! Love the bright color and the criss cross on top!

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  5. Amy, I want to try this at home - would this work if I cooked the sweet potato then drained it through a sieve to remove excess liquid? I don't know if my food processor is strong enough to chop up cubed raw sweet potato - would grating it work better?

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  6. It might work, but it still might have extra liquid. Grating the sweet potato would probably be better, and you can always send the final product through a fine meshed sieve.

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