Fried sweet potato pies
A Southern-inspired treat that's a fantastic holiday addition for families around the world to enjoy.
The other day I was in my local supermarket chatting briefly with a baker named Talisha. She mentioned that it had been a crazy kind of day, but that it was going to get a whole lot better since she was going home soon to make fried sweet potato pies.
I’m not usually drawn to fried foods, but I love sweet potato pie, and I welcome a good baking challenge – so she had my attention. And lucky for me, unlike a real Southerner, this baker shared her process, step by step. And I digested it all, no notes, and no calories. Not yet, anyway.
So Talisha went home and fried up sweet potato pies, while I went home and did a whole lot of research. Turns out she didn’t invent the concept of fried pies, just gets the award for piquing my interest big time. I compared a slew of recipes and techniques, and came up with my own version that’s not too time consuming, but still yields a real holiday treat. Best of all, for the anti-fried foodies, you can take this same recipe and bake it, thereby avoiding the hot oil and accompanying smells. But if it's authentic fried pies you’re looking for, no shortcuts – you’ve gotta fry it to earn bragging rights!
- 1 box pastry dough sheets
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cinnamon and sugar
- Oil for frying
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple extract
- A few drops hot water
- 1/2 cup crushed candied pecans
Optional maple glaze
Bake sweet potatoes at 450° F until soft, approximately 1.5 hours. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and then peel and mash.
Add eggs, milk, nutmeg, sugar, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth.
Heat oil in small, deep pot. Oil should come at least halfway up the pot, with a depth of about 3 inches.
Spread a large piece of parchment paper out on your counter, and sprinkle with flour. Gently roll out dough to thin it slightly, working with one sheet at a time.
Use a large circular cookie cutter or the lid of a jar to cut circles out of the dough. Place a heaping spoonful of sweet potato mixture in the center of half of the dough circles.
Top with remaining dough circles, and then press down hard around the edges with a fork to seal.
*Fry two mini-pies at a time, for about 5-6 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from pot with slotted spoon, and transfer to paper towel lined plate.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar, and serve warm.
Alternatively, you can make a simple maple glaze, drizzle over pies, and before the glaze hardens, sprinkle with crushed candied pecans: Mix the powdered sugar with maple extract, and add a few drops hot water at a time and mix well until a thick but easily pourable consistency is achieved.
*If you prefer to bake your fried pies, preheat oven to 375° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Carefully transfer pies to baking sheet, leaving a couple inches in between each one as they will puff up.
Create an egg wash with one beaten egg and a few drops of water. Brush the tops of the pies, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pies are a deep golden brown color. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack. (If using maple glaze, skip the cinnamon and sugar.)