Pecan Pie...a Dessert For Any Occasion

Pecan pie doesn't have to be just for special occasions. Try a twist on a favorite and serve it anytime. The next time you're entertaining or just want a comforting dessert that your family and friends will enjoy, try this recipe. This version is made with a sweet potato crust that should get people talking around the table.

Pecan Pie With Sweet Potato Crust

Sweet Potato Crust:

11/2 cups Bruce's Sweet Potato Pancake Mix

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons cold butter

4 tablespoons cold water

Pecan Pie Filling:

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

11/3 cups pecan halves

To prepare crust, combine sweet potato pancake mix and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle water over flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, stirring gently with a fork just until all crumbs are incorporated.

Press dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Roll out on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; trim edges. Place pan in freezer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup, sugar and salt and stir until sugar dissolves; cool slightly. Stir in eggs and vanilla and pour into crust. Arrange pecans in circles on top. Bake in a 325°F. oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 8 servings.

Here are a few facts that may make the pie even more pleasing:

• The French created pecan pie after settling in New Orleans and being introduced to pecans by the Native Americans.

• The nut-bearing pecan tree of the walnut family is classified as a species of hickory native to North America. Pecans are distinguished by their thin-shelled nuts with sweet kernels.

• Over 250 million pounds of pecans are harvested each year in Southern orchards.

• The first recipe for pecan pie dates back to 1925.

• Sweet potatoes are the most nutritious and heart-healthy vegetable, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

• Sweet potatoes are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium and high in fiber.

• Besides the great taste, sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of vitamins A, C and E.

So not only can you enjoy this simple homemade dessert anytime of the year; you can feel good about serving it and eating it, knowing it's been made a little healthier. What's more, it stays fresh for a week and makes a terrific gift.

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
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