Sri Lankan Curry has none of the turmeric that we often expect in our curries, but is made up of a melange of warm, sweet spices. Each component is individually toasted before being mixed in perfect proportion, yielding an intensely dark and aromatic blend, so intoxicating that most customers who give it a whiff, can’t leave without it. To answer the call for alternative uses of this irresistible blend, we adapted a very classic Southern sweet potato pie filling to feature it, and we are so proud of the result! The sweet potatoes are a perfect canvas for the deep, toasted flavors of the spice, with just a pop of orange zest here and there for contrast. The crust is a dense, almost shortbread-esque shell, made special by the chopped pecans within. This pie is sure to please all who grace your autumn table!
Sri Lankan Curry Sweet Potato Pie
For the Dough:
1 cup shelled, raw, unsalted pecans, half coarsely ground and half finely ground
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large egg yolk plus 1 large egg
For The Filling:
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups roasted and mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe for roasting instructions)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the dough: Whisk together nuts, flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, work butter in to the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of peas.
- Make a well in the center of the dough. Whisk yolk and egg in a small bowl, and pour into the well. Gradually draw flour mixture into center, kneading until combined. Shape dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight (up to 3 days).
- Let dough come to room temperature; roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9 inch spring form pan, pressing and patching so that dough reaches up sides of the plate. Chill in freezer while you make the filling.
- To make the filling: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes, and pierce them in several places with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil or parchment paper, and roast for 45-55 minutes or until very tender. Puree in a food processor, mash with a potato masher or in a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment.
- Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.
- Beat sweet potatoes in medium bowl, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
- Add sugar, beat to incorporate
- Add Sri Lankan Curry, milk, butter, and vanilla, and beat at low speed to incorporate everything evenly and well.
- Pour filling in to prepared crust, and bake at 350 degrees until puffed and firm, 40-50 minutes.
World Spice Merchants http://www.worldspice.com
Tender carrots are surprisingly sweet when baked in a brown sugar-y syrup, especially when united with perfect Washington apples and plump little raisin gems. The fresh ginger is such a classic pairing with the carrot, and is highlighted perfectly by the Star Anise in our Chinese Five Spice. The all-butter crust recipe I’ve included is a long-time standby of mine, and produces some of the flakiest and best pastry I’ve ever tasted. It will definitely be making an appearance at my Thanksgiving table this year!
Chinese Five Spiced Apple Carrot Pie
For the Crust:
2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour- preferably Gold Medal or King Arthur brands
1 cup chilled, unsalted butter, the best quality you can afford
½ cup very cold water
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
For the Filling:
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
3 medium McIntosh or Pink Lady apples, peeled
6 large carrots, peeled
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon Lemon Crystal
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Utah Basin salt
1 tablespoon ground Chinese Five Spice
1 teaspoon Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon
½ cup boiling water
3 tablespoons dry sherry (or port/liquor of your choosing)
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
- Pour boiling water and 1 tablespoon of the sherry over raisins, and allow to soak
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture mostly resembles coarse meal, with few pea-size pieces remaining. This can be done without a food processer, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your hands, but be wary of over working it.
- Sprinkle in cold water, beginning with 3 tablespoons. Pulse until dough is crumbly, but holds together when squeezed. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until this happens, but again, do not overprocess.
- Turn dough out onto a cutting board. Divide in to two equal portions, and form each portion in to 3/4-inch-thick disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- While dough chills, assemble filling.Peel and core apples, and cut in to slices 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut carrots on the bias so they’re approximately the same size as the apple slices, but 1/16 of an inch thick.
- In a large bowl, toss apples, carrots, ginger, sugars, Lemon Crystal, Chinese Five Spice, salt, and flour until well incorporated.
- Drain raisins, and incorporate with other filling ingredients. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of sherry to filling mixture.
- Unwrap dough; place on a large floured cutting board. Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Wrap dough around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate. Using a fork, prick holes all around the dough to allow crust to vent and prevent shrinkage.
- Fill crust with filling, pressing gently to tamp down. Dot top of filling with softened butter.
- Roll out second dough disk to a ten inch round. Wrap around rolling pin, and drape over filled pie dish.
- Trim overhang, and crimp top and bottom crusts together.
- Bake pie at 425 for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 for another 35 minutes, or until crust is golden, juices are bubbling, and apples and carrots are tender. Cool for four hours, and serve alone or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
World Spice Merchants http://www.worldspice.com
Categories: Asia, North America, Recipes, Sweet Somethings
Tags: apples, autumn, carrots, Chinese Five Spice, desserts, Fall, pie, raisins, thanksgiving