Rum-kissed Sweet Potato Pie

I’d certainly pick up a cream pie from a line up of pies — pumpkin or sweet potato pie would “I hate to say it” just be ignored or refused.    But it’s the season for making these pies, and really, my hubby just begged for me to make one for him….not for us (lol).   He said his mom would make sure there’s sweet potato pie at this time of the year.    Not with my family — sweet potatoes or “camote” never get to be baked or made into a baked dish.  Raw unpeeled sweet potatoes were just pierced  twice “not so deep”  with tines of fork and boiled until tender.  And we’d enjoy the baked yams or sweet potatoes with margarine and a sprinkle of white sugar, that’s it!   Ok, I had to make a sweet potato pie.  I consulted some friends, browsed some online recipes and took some notes.  I knew then what I’d need to add with my sweet potato pie — a little bit of “rum” magic!

Start roasting the sweet potatoes, it takes an hour to get the sweet potatoes ready to be pureed/mashed.

I’d just use a store-bought pie crust and blind baked it.  Remember to take out the pie crust from the freezer and leave it to thaw for about 30 minutes before handle it and fit into the pie dish and flute edges.   Line pie shell with foil and if you have another pie dish of same size (preferably glass pyrex dish), use it instead of putting pie weights (rice or beans).

Ready for my rum-kissed sweety pie?  Here’s the recipe, and yes, there’s rum!

Rum-kissed Sweet Potato Pie
Serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or marshmallow fluff.

1 blind-baked store-bought or favorite pie crust (see tip # 1)

2 cups baked sweet potato puree  (see tip # 2)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple or maple-flavored pancake syrup
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, beat together all filling ingredients with mixer  until smooth.  Pour into the partially-baked pie crust.  Cover pie edges with aluminum foil (to prevent overbrowning of the pie edges).  Bake for about 5o minutes or until the center of pie is set.  Cool the pie to room temperature before serving.

Tip # 1 – Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan.  Crimp edges.  Line pie shell with foil and fill with uncooked rice or beans.   Blind bake in 375 F oven for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and pie weights (rice or beans) before filling.

Tip # 2 – Pierce each sweet potato (use 3 medium sized) with a fork  2 or times and place them on a foil-lined large baking tray.  Roast at 425 F for about an hour, until potatoes are soft (turn sweet potatoes over halfway through the baking time).  Cool slightly before peeling and mash using fork or potato masher.


AWESOME Banana Muffins

A trip to Sam’s Club always means purchasing my favorite “no-hard-crust” French bread (I love it for garlic bread, Philly steak sandwiches and even BBQ beef sandwiches, etc).  But I’d always stop by for some minutes to enjoy looking (also touching, yes) at clear packages of huge muffin quickbreads — they’re soo good, soft and moist but just not at all “figure-friendly” so I’d contend with my french bread purchase, smile and walk away.

These bakery-style huge muffins, of course, couldn’t really be duplicated at home.   Special ingredients, leaveners, improvers/conditioners are usually added, and heavy-duty bakery equipments used make all the difference.   This didn’t stop me though from playing/working with banana cake/bread recipes I found online.  With trial and error and a bit of luck, I came up with this banana muffins formulation that I really considered AWESOME and I’m sharing the recipe with all my wonderful readers.

Always use (never throw them away) overripe bananas with plenty of black specks (and I even took a snapshot of these bananas I used for this recipe.

5 over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with fork
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rum (I used Brugal anejo rum)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Insert paper liners into 14 – 16  Texan muffin pan holes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together margarine and sugars with electric mixer.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in mashed bananas, vanilla, oil, rum and sour cream.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Add to banana mixture; mix well.  Stir in shredded coconut.

Fill each prepared muffin cup with about 1/2 cup of the batter.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Allow muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan .  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

All my “never say never” cake tasters give this recipe a double thumbs-up!  Enjoy!

New Rum in Chicago (BRUGAL RUM) – Just in Time For Summer PLUS summer cocktail recipes

From:  Jessica Slevin of MBOOTH

Hi Sarah,

With Memorial Day behind us and summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to enjoy a refreshing rum cocktail to get you in the mood for warmer weather!

Grab your flip flops, fire up the grill, and invite your friends over for an evening of summer cocktails on the patio.

Here’s cocktail recipe from Brugal Rum – the #1 Rum in the Caribbean, now available in Chicago – to help you cool off this summer.

Santo Libre
1.5 oz. Brugal Añejo Rum
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
Lemon-Lime soda

Pour Brugal Añejo Rum over ice in a tall glass.  Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.  Fill with lemon lime soda.  Stir and enjoy.

The buttery and balanced Brugal Rum Añejo (SRP $19.99) is a blend of rums aged 3-5 years in American White Oak casks and is the perfect complement to a warm summer evening.


Important Note:  Please Drink Responsibly