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Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

Sweet Potato Pie is not uncommon as a Thanksgiving dessert. This particular pie, however, with its cloud of fluffy meringue and hint of coconut is a real standout. Sweet, but not too sweet, it's just plain delicious. Sometimes it's possible to gild a lily.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 well-beaten egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Combine the mashed sweet potatoes and egg yolks.
  • Add the melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut and milk.
  • Pour mixture into pie shell, and bake at 325°F until set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  • Add remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread meringue on hot filling, sealing to edges.
  • Return pie to oven and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

There's much online discussion about how long to bake or boil a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are dense and take longer to cook than white potatoes. Also, the amount of time it takes to cook a sweet potato depends on its size. So there's really only one sure way of determining doneness: After about 45 minutes of either baking (at 425°F) or boiling, start testing with a fork. Poke the potatoes in the thickest part. They're done when the fork slides in easily.

The serving dishes in our photograph are Fiesta dinnerware.

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