Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Makes 9 bars
If you're a kiwi, or anyone unfamiliar with ~ American Cuisine ~ you fall into one of three camps. 1: Never heard of eating sweet potato as a dessert. 2: Heard of it but sounds gross. 3: Heard of it and am intrigued. I don't know if I care all that much which of the carefully-researched groups you fall into, just that you open your minds and your mouths to trying this dessert. There are many upsetting things about classic American foods but I truly think this is not one of them.
For the sake of it though, because you asked of course, I'm going to let you invade my past for a moment, and tell you about Lucifer's Mac n Cheese. The year is 2014, I've been invited to stay with my boyfriend's family who live in North Carolina. I'm excited because I'd only been to the US two other times and never to North Carolina. I was going for the fourth of July for gods sake! Myself and this boy who is much too old, and much too "I dropped out of high school twice" for me, rock up to his parents mansion in the middle of buttfucknowhere North Carolina. The garden is mown to perfection with a mammoth hedge the shape of Mickey Mouse firmly in the middle of the tranquility, and there is a jacuzzi that lights up in the colours of the American flag. His family were French. Eventually, we leave weird suburbia paradiso and head to a lake house for the weekend.
Among the countless American-high-school tropes that were proving to be very real, what I was not prepared for, was a bowl of Mac n Cheese that ended up being about 50% butter. I pushed every bit of much-too-pliable macaroni around my plate to make it look as if I'd had a real crack but simply had eyes bigger than my belly, held back some vomit, then timidly excused myself. But despite the beer that tasted faintly of urine, the patriotic singing, and the devils mac n cheese. I had a great time, ate my weight in twizzlers, loved the fried chicken, and would do it all again.
1 large sheet of ready-made sweet shortcut pastry
2 medium/large sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of softened, unsalted butter
1/4 cup of evaporated milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Spiced Icing Sugar
1/4-1/3 cup of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
Preheat your oven to 180℃ (bake) 160℃ (fan bake).
Prick your sweet potatoes a few times with a fork. Place them in a microwave-proof dish, cover the bowl, and then microwave them on high for 3 minutes. Turn them over and microwave them for another 3 minutes
Remove the sweet potatoes from the dish and split them down the middle. Spoon all. of the flesh out from the skins and place them in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sweet potato until creamy.
Beat in your butter, sugars, milk, cream, vanilla, and eggs. Then beat in your flour and spices.
Lay your pie crust into a long baking dish (or two square baking dishes). Trim off any excess crust coming up the side of the dish. You can gently press together the pieces of crust, you don't have to have a piece of crust that perfectly fits the tin. Just trim as needed until you have one layer of pie crust on the bottom of your dish.
Pour the batter into your pie crust and smooth it out to fill the pie crust.
Bake for 50-55 minutes.
Leave to cool completely then place in the fridge until ready to eat.
Mix together the icing sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Serve the bars with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of the icing sugar mixture.