With Father's Day approaching, we asked our Aaron Hutcherson, chef, food lover, and writer behind The Hungry Hutch in NYC about some of his favourite memories cooking with dad. His father's Sweet Potato Pie has been a staple at every Hutcherson family Thanksgiving as long as he can remember. You can visit his blog at www.TheHungryHutch.com and follow him on Instagram @TheHungryHutch.
"My dad is usually tasked with making pies for our Thanksgiving dinner. Growing up I'd always be there right alongside him elbow deep in pie filling. He doesn't cook very often, but he's good at it when he does. The holidays are one of the few times when we get to cook together and it's quality time just between my father and I, without my mother or brother. We didn't have much time alone growing up, just he and I, so part of me would always look forward to our baking together.
Sweet Potato Pie is a part of my Thanksgiving tradition. I'm not entirely sure how the tradition started - it's just been a known fact as far back as I can remember that my dad would make sweet potato pies for our holiday gatherings. My family looks forward to it each year and sometimes they even place orders for a pie to take home. On an average year we can easily have between 20 to 30 people for Thanksgiving dinner, so this isn't an easy task. It's even become some of my family's favorite part of the meal. Instead of saving it for the end of dinner, my dad and others always grab a slice to eat alongside the turkey and other trimmings.
In addition to getting to spend some time with my dad, I also was lucky enough to learn the recipe – if you can really call it that – by heart. What I mean by this is that the measurements aren’t very exact – there’s a lot of tasting and adjusting that goes on with the sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg amounts, but I’ve tried to measure how much I added in order to give you a pretty good starting point. I may actually be breaking some sort of unspoken family code by sharing this with you, but here it goes…"
The Hutcherson Family Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
Ingredients (yields 1 pie):
2 sweet potatoes
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 frozen pie shell
Place the whole sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are done all the way through. You can poke them with a fork or knife every now and then to check if they’re ready.
Let the potatoes cool slightly and while they’re still warm you can easily remove the skin. Add the butter, egg, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt to the potatoes and blend together with a mixer until smooth. At this point you can give it a taste to see if you need a little extra sugar or maybe a dash more cinnamon.
Fill the pie shell and bake. Now this is where my memory of the recipe gets a little fuzzy, so I called my dad. He said to bake it at 325˚F for 20 minutes and then 375˚F until done, but he wasn’t 100% sure. So of course I couldn’t do exactly what my father said and I decided to tweak the time and temperatures a bit. I baked the pie for 45 minutes at 350˚F degrees and then another 30 minutes at 375˚F. Let it cool for several hours or overnight.
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