Swirled Sweet Potato Pie

I don’t know about you, but with less than 48 hours until Thanksgiving, I’m dreaming about pie. All kinds of pie—the typical Thanksgiving pumpkin and apple, but also chocolate cream, pecan, rum raisin, and pear-cranberry. Over the weekend, I tried the following recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl, featured in this month’s Eating Well magazine. I was lured in by the beauty of the cream cheese swirl topping—a nice spin on a classic. But most importantly, it’s delicious pie—subtly sweet with a smooth, velvety texture and a gingersnap cookie crumb crust. It’s time to bring on the pie.

Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl (from Eating Well, Nov/Dec 2012; serves 10)

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
6 ounces crisp gingersnap cookies (26-28 small cookies)
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt, divided
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until very tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Carefully unwrap and set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Process gingersnaps in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, add oil and stir until well combined. Using a spoon, spread and pat the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until just barely beginning to darken, about 10 minutes.

Clean and dry the food processor bowl. Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer to the food processor. Puree until smooth. Measure out 1 1/2 cups (if you have extra puree, reserve it for another use). Return the 1 1/2 cups puree to the food processor. Add brown sugar, 1/2 cup yogurt, eggs, egg yolk, cinnamon and nutmeg; pulse until combined. Spread the sweet potato filling in the warm crust.

Clean and dry the food processor bowl again. Add the remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and ginger; puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice. Dollop tablespoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto the filling, spacing them evenly. Draw the tip of a wooden skewer or a thin knife through the cream cheese mixture and sweet potato filling repeatedly to create a swirled design.

Bake the pie until firm to the touch and starting to puff around the edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours.

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