We had a small but mighty convening of the Feel Good Book Club last night, graciously hosted by Molly Hamilton in Sugar Hollow. Our book was Becoming by Michelle Obama. To be honest, l I love Michelle but I didn’t think this book would be earth-shattering. I felt that it would be bland and safe and maybe a little sappy. Happily, it was none of these things. Her writing style is so engaging, her warmth and empathy is so palpable, her convictions and clarity and truthfulness and integrity so clear. This book was insightful and a joy to read (spoiler alert: the book ends with the 2016 election and that ending SUUUCKS) As Adrienne Maree Brown said, “she’s not a radical or even really political, but she lets love lead her life.” Brava, Michelle, and please tell Barack Obama that I miss him and I made him this Sweet Potato Pie.
So the pie! I selfishly did not take pictures of anybody else’s food but let me tell you about it: our food theme was “presidential” so Molly made the Obama’s chili recipe- a beautiful fresh veg and bean chili with ground turkey and turmeric! She also made grits a la Jimmy Carter. Cathy made a gorgeous kale fennel salad (Cathy what else was in that salad?), inspired by Michelle’s garden, nutrition, food security and local food initiatives (which, as a group of farmers, bakers, and food activists, we agreed had made a huge difference in casually bringing those issues into the mainstream and pop culture). Annie Louise made a delightful sweet potato pecan salad from the Moosewood cookbook. And I made sweet potato pie because it’s Barack’s favorite. It turned out really good so here’s the recipe!
Sweet Potato Pie with Gingersnap Crust:
1 box Gingersnap Cookies (can be gf!) pulverized in the food processor (should yield 1.5-2 cups of crumbs). Mix that thoroughly with:
1 stick melted salted butter and
1 t. ground ginger.
Press into bottom of your pie dish (no need to parbake the crust).
combine with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer in this order:
1-ish pounds of baked sweet potatoes
another stick of melted butter (don’t judge!)
1/2 c. Brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1.5 cups whole milk.
When mixture is smooth and light, pour filling into crust and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until all but a small circle in the middle of the pie is set.
The whipped cream:
Whip on high with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer until stiff peaks form:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t. Cardamom
Let the pie cool, then serve topped with the cardamom whipped cream. Enjoy!
*Note: this recipe is adapted from one by Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s show Good Food and many other things.
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