Sweet Potato– Apple Pie With Almond-Thyme Crumble Dish


[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

I invested numerous years discovering the art of pie making at Four & Twenty Blackbirds, a cherished bakeshop situated in Brooklyn, NY. Come fall, clients promptly turned their attention to the signature salted caramel apple pie, however I was an unfaltering fan of their sweet potato– apple fall apart. Influenced by that mix, this pie weds sweet potatoes and apples with a mix of spices– consisting of cinnamon, Chinese five-spice powder, and white pepper– and kindly tops it with a punchy almond and thyme-spiced fall apart.

For the apples, I took a hint from Stella, who solely requires tart apples (like Granny Smiths) in herold-fashioned apple pie recipe Integrating apple pieces with brown sugar and spices and enabling the mix to macerate for 3 hours lowers its volume, which suggests more raw fruit can suit a single pie. When baked, Granny Smiths hold their shape well, provide a somewhat tart bite, and enhance the tender texture of sweet potatoes.

With the sweet potatoes, I checked numerous approaches in order to identify one that provides a soft, flexible texture. Initially, I attempted par-boiling entire peeled sweet potatoes (the exact same approach used by 4 & & Twenty Blackbirds), which often led to completely tender ones however were more frequently either inconsistently prepared, with mushy outsides and raw interiors, or totally overcooked. To reduce the cooking time and enhance dependability, I decided to slice the sweet potatoes into smaller sized pieces that prepare through faster and more regularly. The outcome is crisp-tender pieces that end up being completely prepared as soon as baked.

A couple other noteworthy methods I checked for the sweet potatoes that didn’t make it: Kenji’s method of par-cooking sweet potatoes at low temperatures, which boosts their sweet taste, produced ones that were too sweet in the context of this pie; microwaving the sweet potatoes, on the other hand, yielded combined outcomes– while the strategy works well for totally preparing a sweet potato up until soft and smooth, it’s not almost constant enough when the objective here is par-cooking.

To complete the pie is a nubby fall apart topping, made by integrating flour, chopped almonds, sugar, thyme, salt, spices, and a liberal quantity of melted butter. The outcome is a show-stopping pie that not just will be a welcome addition on the vacation table, however manages the impressive task of pleasing both apple pie fans and sweet potato pie fans alike.



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