Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Purple Sweet Potato Pie | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with a mound of an Italian meringue inspired by Esther Williams (anyone younger than me will have to google her). I was gifted a box of super fun produce by my friend Chadwick Boyd and in the selection from Frieda’s were a pair of bright purple sweet potato. I knew immediately that they would be pie. With Thanksgiving just a couple days away, how could my mind go anywhere else with such a fun bounty. The real surprise came with the topping. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows has been a regular on many Thanksgiving tables, so it seemed natural to pile on meringue and toast it like a marshmallow (a pile of whipped cream would be super tasty too). What I hadn’t planned on was the color. I had reserved the bright purple cooking water after boiling the potatoes, because it was just too pretty to throw away. I typically use a Swiss meringue on a pie, but the Italian version requires making a syrup of sugar and water, which meant I could use my potato water (BOOM, that’s how I’d tint my meringue purple). I had visions of a lavender colored cloud sitting on top of the pie, but when I added the boiling purple syrup to the spinning egg whites it turned bright, bright, bright blue. I’m not entirely sure why, but some chemical reaction in that bowl changed my vision for this pie. I was faced with a bowl of super soft, BLUE meringue and I went for it. I piled it on and then used a star tip to create the swimming cap of a topping (did you look up Esther Williams yet?)

Purple Sweet Potato Pie | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

You can see the potatoes and meringue come together in my instagram video. Recipe below:

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Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving Desserts | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I have so much to be thankful for this year. From the health and well being of my family, to the fact that my computer is back up and running. Sometimes it is the small stuff that really snaps us into a space of giving thanks. As those of you who follow me on Twitter and FB know, last week was my birthday and it was quite a memorable one. My adorable boys brought me coffee in bed and we sat and talked. The fact that they sat still long enough to hang out was remarkable and a gift. After that loving moment passed, they were off and running and I changed the course of my day with a single move. I jostled my coffee cup and spilled the tiniest bit on my laptop. I swear it was no more than a tablespoon, but that is enough to ruin your day, week. My husband took the lifeless piece of equipment to the genius bar at the Mac store, as I salvaged the rest of my birthday by taking a photography class with Susan Powers. Nothing like creative inspiration to lift your spirits. Not only were the geniuses able to fix the computer, but I didn’t lose anything. Small miracle. The price I paid was being without a computer for nearly a week, which in the end was like a forced vacation. After being on book tour, it was a much needed, albeit unasked for, rest. So, yes, I am actually thankful that my computer was down for the week, although next time I will just turn it off.

Some of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts from past years:

Here is a post I did on the difference between a Sweet Potato vs Yam? Turns out there is quite a debate.

Perfect Apple Pie

Bourbon Pumpkin cheesecake

Caramelized Pumpkin Bread pudding

Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie

Apple Pumpkin Cake

Coconut Cream Cake

Caramel Apple Pear Cake

I hope your holiday is filled with joy and you manage to keep your motherboard dry. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Butterscotch Sweet Potato Pie

Butterscotch Sweet Potato Pie Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Update: There was no contest between the pumpkin and the sweet potato pies that I made for Thanksgiving! The Sweet potato was the unanimous winner. Most of you predicted that in your comments. The truth of the matter is that it wasn’t a fair contest. I made a traditional pumpkin pie, like the one you find on the can and it just wasn’t all that thrilling next to a butterscotch sweet potato pie that is spiked with whiskey! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving! I love this day. It is the ultimate holiday for anyone who loves to cook and eat. Today I am hosting the feast at my house. It will be a small party of my family, those who live in MN. We have all the old favorites from turkey to pumpkin pie. Due to my new found love of sweet potatoes I also did a butterscotch sweet potato pie. There are only 8 of us and we have two pies. I hope it is enough! 😉 I thought it would be fun to see which pie becomes the family favorite. After our meal I’ll report back what we decide.

For Butterscotch Sweet Potato Pie inspired by a recipe for pumpkin pie in Bon Appetit: (more…)

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The Sweet Potato vs Yam Debate

Purple baked sweet potato | Sweet potato vs yam debate

A couple of days ago I got an email from Ochen Kaylan, a producer of American Public Media’s Weekend America. He was gathering information about the differences between Sweet Potatoes and Yams, for a Thanksgiving show, and invited me to participate. We all know the sweet, sticky, gooey side dish that is loaded up with brown sugar, spices, lots of butter and the ubiquitous marshmallow topping. But people always wonder which to use, sweet potato vs yam? Really what is the difference?

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