"Try it with a dollop of whipped cream or inhale it straight out of the tin."
Total: 3 hours
for the crust:
3 ¾ cups AP flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter
¾ cup cold shortening or lard
2/3 cup ice water
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar or vodka
1 egg, beaten (for an egg wash, if desired)
raw sugar, for sprinkling on the pie crust (if desired)
for the sweet potato filling:
4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1. First, make your pie crust. Please note that you should always chill your pie crust for at least 3 hours before baking. You have been warned.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, and salt. Cube your butter quickly, so it stays as cold as possible, and add it to your flour. Cube your shortening as best as you can (mine usually just ends up as small dollops all over my flour) and add it to your flour. Use your hands to combine the flour with the butter and sugar, pressing the butter into the flour with your thumbs. The result should look like pea-sized crumbs, but with a few nice chunks of visible butter still in the dough (this creates nice, flaky layers).
3. Combine your ice water and vinegar, and slowly drizzle it over your flour mixture, starting with about half. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together, then add in a few more tablespoons at a time, mixing as you go, but being careful not to overwork the dough. It should be a little shaggy and crumbly when you're done, but still wet enough to form into a ball. Use a little extra water, if needed.
4. Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap, forming the dough into large disks. This recipe makes enough for two pies, or one two-crust pie. If you're not making a second pie, then go ahead and freeze your extra disk for up to 6 months. You're welcome.
5. When you're ready to make your pie, place your cubed sweet potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover them with water. Place them over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over medium for 20-25 minutes, until they are fork tender. Drain the water from the sweet potatoes, and place them in a blender, food processor, or back in the same pot if you're using an immersion blender.
6. Add in your sweetened condensed milk, eggs, butter, vanilla cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Purée until smooth and set aside.
7. Preheat your oven to 375° degrees F. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out one disk of dough to a bit larger than your preferred 9-inch pie tin. Place the dough into your tin, and fold the excess flaps of dough back to make a nice, neat crust. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes before filling.
8. Pour your sweet potato filling into your prepared pie crust. Brush the edges with a beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar, if you like. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the filling is set and the crust is golden. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing and serving. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.