My Mom hosts Thanksgiving every year, she wouldn't have it any other way! I usually bring a side dish and an appetizer and my cousin Nina usually brings dessert. My cousin Nina has a baking blog called Ambrosia and she often shares some of her delicious treats with us (those parker house rolls on her blog are dangerous!). She's not just a great baker, she's also very talented in photography, writing, and she just graduated from Columbia University so I put her up to the challenge of creating her first guest post for me and she really came through! Please welcome her and visit her blog if you love to bake.
Hi, everyone! My name is Nina, and I'm the blogger behind Ambrosia, a site full of everything you could imagine about creating simple and delicious baked recipes. I'm very excited to be sharing this recipe for mini sweet potato meringue pies. Creating this recipe was something very new to me. I'm no stranger to coming up with creative pie, cookie, and cupcake recipes, but this recipe was a bit different. My blog features traditional style recipes, full of butter, cream, and sugar, so the recipes I share tend to be on the indulgent side. However, this doesn't mean that I'm always thinking about rich foods; on the contrary, I actually care a lot, more than some people know, about eating healthy whole foods. I love being active and over the past several years have grown to love all kinds of exercise, and eating a lot of healthy foods is definitely one of my priorities to help keep my cake and ice cream obsession in check. Fortunately for me, my cousin Gina has been a great resource for coming up with healthy meals! I actually prepared a lot of her recipes while I was living away from home during college, and love it when she asks for taste testers for her new recipes. Who knew that eating healthy could be so easy, and delicious?!
I was pretty excited when Gina asked me to help her come with a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. There was a catch though: I had to stick to a specific number of points per serving! Yikes! I was up for the challenge though, and immediately knew that I wanted to make pie. Pie is one of my absolute favorite things to make, so I knew that that I wanted to make a skinny pie dessert, and sweet potato pie seemed like a great way to go. To make the pie filling light, I used a trick I saw on many sweet potato casserole recipes. Adding a ripe banana to the sweet potato puree is the secret to keeping this sweet potato pie filling light. Since the banana adds natural sweetness to the sweet potato, it means that you need hardly any additional sugar at all! Rolling out a store-bought pie crust a little bit thinner helps keep the points low, and also makes life a little bit easier. Meringue is naturally fat free, so it was a great way to add a little more sweetness without increasing the points per serving, as well as adding some marshmallow flavor to the sweet potato filling, because who doesn't love that flavor combination? I thought making mini pies would be great for Thanksgiving, because they not only help with portion control, but also looks cute and festive. You can make the pies the day before, top them with the meringue just before serving, and all that's left is arranging them on a pretty platter and digging in. At only 4 points plus per serving, these will go fast! Hope you enjoy!
Mini Sweet Potato Meringue Pies
Servings: 12 • Size: 1 mini pie • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 136 • Fat: 4 g • Carb: 24 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 2 g • Sugar: 13 g
Sodium: 106 mg (without salt)
For the Pie:
- 1 9-inch Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust*
- 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree (from 4 [1.8lbs] sweet potatoes) or canned
- 1 medium banana, ripe, mashed
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Meringue:
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch of salt
Begin by preparing the sweet potato puree. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a knife, and place in the microwave. Bake the sweet potatoes until they are cooked through and soft, about 8 -10 minutes. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, split them down the middle and scoop out the flesh, and add it to a food processor. Process until a smooth puree forms. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the puree for the pie filling, and reserve any remaining puree for another use.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Using a 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out rounds of dough (you will need to gather the scraps and re-roll the dough to the same thickness to get all 12 circles). Gently place each circle into the well of a lightly greased cupcake tin. It's ok if you need to overlap the dough onto itself.
In a bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of sweet potato puree, mashed banana, egg, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together until they are smooth and well combined. Divide the pie filling equally among the prepared mini pie shells, and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake the mini pies for about 32 minutes, until the pie crust is a light golden brown and the filling is set and puffed slightly. Allow the pies to cool to room temperature.
Just before serving the pies, prepare the meringue. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water, and heat, without stirring, until it becomes syrupy and reaches 234° degrees on a candy thermometer. While the syrup is heating, whip the two egg whites until soft peaks form. Once the sugar has reached the correct temperature, drizzle the syrup into the egg whites, all while mixing and turning the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in the salt.
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip. Remove the mini pies from the cupcake tin, and place on a baking tray. Pipe a swirl of meringue onto each cupcake (you may not use all of the meringue). Place the tray with the mini pies underneath the broiler set to high for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them as you don't want them to burn! Remove the mini pies from the oven once the meringue is a light golden brown color.
*I used 6.25 oz of the pie crust, and discarded the rest. Nutritional information is based on this.