I made four mini pies that would fit right in on a Thanksgiving table, as a side dish for any dinner, or a great lunch entree paired with an acidic salad.
Happy Pi Day! Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
For the pie:
One pie dough for 9-inch pie (You can view my other Instructables for my usual pie dough recipe, but I find Trader Joe's makes a great crust that tastes like butter, not chemicals, use your favorite recipe, or brand, thawed per package instructions.)
2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c. buttermilk, room temperature
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 c.)
1/2 tsp. salt (I use Kosher)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
For the topping:
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings from cooked bacon
1/2 c. Panko
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (if you have fresh, use 1 tsp. finely chopped)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Step 2: Prepare and Parbake Pie Crust
Roll out pie dough large enough to cut circles to fit your mini pie pans, or into a 12-inch round if making a 9-inch pie.
Fit dough into pan, and crimp edges if you need to. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Prepare pies for blind-baking by poking the chilled dough with tines of a fork in many places. Cover dough with foil (I prefer non-stick foil), add dried beans or pie weights.
Bake mini pies for 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. (If baking a 9-inch pie it will probably take 20-25 minutes) You are looking for the crust to be set and lightly browned, if any parts have puffed up, flatten them with a fork. Remove pie weights and let rest.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Step 3: Prepare Filling
Let sweet potatoes rest until you can handle them, about 10-15 minutes.
In a food processor combine the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Blend until combined, about 5 seconds.Scrape flesh from sweet potatoes into food processor, then blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. If you are comfortable tasting raw egg, taste and adjust for seasoning.
Place filling inside prepared crust about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Prepare Topping and Bake
Mix panko, 2 Tbsp. bacon drippings, bacon, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined.
Remove pies from oven and add topping, place back in oven and continue baking 15 minutes (probably 20 min. for a 9-inch pie), until filling is slightly puffed, and crust and topping are browned. Remove from oven.
Step 5: Enjoy!
These pies taste best on the day they are made, but if you have leftovers refrigerate them. Reheat pies until warm, the crust gets slightly soggy after the first day, but they are still delicious.