Foodiva's Kitchen: Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Easy Oats Crust

Friday, August 6, 2010

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Easy Oats Crust

My reaction when I first took a bite out of this pie was that it had turned out better than I thought it would when I was toying with the recipe. Now, every cook or baker knows deep in their hearts that it’s not every day they will stumble upon or create a mindblowing recipe, and for me, today was one in those 1,001 days (or maybe more).

I recently came across this post by Bits of Taste featuring the purple-colored Japanese sweet potatoes, or "Okinawan" potatoes, prevalent in Japan, Hawaii and many parts of Asia. The posted pictures were so enticing that I had to run out to get some! When I was growing up, we grew these and the orange-colored sweet potatoes in our back garden and would pull them fresh out of the ground whenever we'd wanted to eat some. Unfortunately, we don’t cultivate these around my house now because adult commitments dictate that we should just go ahead and purchase these from the farmer’s market or supermarket if we ever need them. Besides, it’s my mother who has the green fingers and unfortunately, the green finger gene has not been passed down to me.

Anyway, the traditional way of eating sweet potatoes in my childhood home was to boil them or fry them in batter. Either way, we used to dip the sweet potato pieces in sweet condensed milk and sometimes the thick milk would dribble down the sides of our mouths and down to our chins (and our laps, or the floor). Such was the uninhibited joy of eating sweet potatoes in those days! Hang on a minute…. We do STILL eat them with condensed milk even now, just a little less messy and hopefully a tad more elegantly.

My eyes glazed over at the thought of these two rich ingredients trapped in a dish – sweet potato and condensed milk - they taste soooo, so good together! Could it be possible to throw them both in a pie and they will still taste heavenly? I didn’t need someone to come over and twist my arm, because that’s what I‘d planned to do when I bought the purplies. Hmm.. but the pie can’t just have any old crust though. I wanted something crunchy, something earthy (whatever that means), then it crossed my mind that maybe oats and wholemeal flour as a base would do the trick. In my excitement about the potatoes, I’d forgotten to buy eggs and found only two left in the fridge. Well, I needed those for the filling so the crust would have to go eggless. Luckily, the oats and wholemeal didn’t need eggs for stickiness, they were perfectly fine by themselves. Gosh, see how amazingly resourceful we human beings can be when pushed into a corner?

The baked sweet potato and condensed milk pie combo really surpassed my expectations (hadn’t I already told you this??). The moist, silky-smooth and tender filling complemented the crusty oats perfectly. Oh, did I say that I also added coconut milk (instead of cream) to the filling? Yes, that sealed the deal for sure! This will be the recipe I will pass down to my children someday. This, and maybe my mother’s green finger gene.

I drizzled extra condensed milk on top of mine because I wanted to feel my mamma's arms around me.. :-)

Purple Sweet Potato Pie with Easy Oats Crust
I cup instant rolled oats
¼ cup wholemeal flour
3 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup coconut milk
425g (1 can) purple sweet potato, boiled and mashed

1. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie tin or spray with non-stick baking spray. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. In a bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Work oil and water in until well blended.
3. Pat oat crust into the pie tin with your fingers and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until browned around the edges. Remove from the oven while you prepare the filling. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C.
4. For the filling, whisk the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Blend in the coconut milk and condensed milk, then add the mashed sweet potato. Mix further until it becomes a smooth mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is just set. A skewer inserted into the center of the pie will come out clean.
6. Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes before turning out and serving.


Jennifurla said...

This is one of the cooles things I have seen, great job

Subterfuge Diva said...

Thanks, Jennifurla. It's the coolest thing I've eaten today too! Off to bed now, it's past midnight here and I've really got to stop checking this blog already...

Sara Leana said...


Subterfuge Diva said...

Hey Sara, thanks. I think your cooking is incredible too! Wish we are neighbors... Haha.

Chef Dennis said...

wow...that pie looks amazing!! where can I find purple sweet potatoes! I have to make one of these!

Subterfuge Diva said...

Hey Dennis, I knew you'd like this! In the US, I think they sell purple sweet potatoes in Wholefoods (remember seeing it when I was there in DC last May. Otherwise, try ordering online, I read that this site is pretty good:

Btw, check this review out on the Purple Sweet Potato Kit Kat from Hawaii, it's outraeous, but fun!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow - that is so funky! My kids would love it, but I'm afraid it will be hard to find purple sweet potatoes in the UK. I'll keep an eye out though!

Subterfuge Diva said...

Ruby, you may be able to find some in the Asian supermarkets over there. Is there a Chinatown where you live? Good luck, and let me know if you've found some!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I hope I can find some purple sweet potatoes so I can try this! And I love that you used coconut milk--it just adds a whole other dimension that cream lacks. Very nice job!

Subterfuge Diva said...

Hi there, thanks for your comments! Please do try this recipe if you can get hold of some purple sweet potatoes. The coconut milk really goes well with these potatoes. Trust me, Mark will love you even more for this! He is one lucky guy, btw.

Lauren said...

What a GORGEOUS pie! I must find purple sweet potatoes :).

Subterfuge Diva said...

Hey Lauren, yes you must! I'm sure they sell it in the Asian/Chinese grocery stores in Boston. Love your healthy recipes and escapades to gorgeous locations!

Gala said...

Wow great color, would love to try this out some the crust too.

Subterfuge Diva said...

Gala, you must like this because it's purple! I used to live in Germany too, and my first serious forays into baking started there. Yes, I used to bake lots of German cakes and sweets and still do sometimes. Must check out your blog often for more inspiration!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
I recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!

Foodiva said...

Thanks, prettygoodfood. I really like your blog and the photographs are so beautiful!

girlichef said...

Oh my gosh, this is so gorgeous! I had to click over from YBR to drool up close! I MUST hunt down some purple sweet potatoes :D

Shirley said...

Such a healthy and colourful recipe!

Spicie Foodie said...

Happy Near Year Maya! I'd never heard of purple sweet potatoes until I discovered your blog. You have so many great recipes for them and this is no exception. I love your description of how you ate them as a child :) The pie sounds & looks so pretty and delicious! Thanks for participating in the YBR.

Cardamom Hills said...

Gosh...that looks absolutely fab...I too grew up eating orange sweet potatoes n your post totally refreshed ol' times when my granny used to boil them for me :) May be we can try it with our good ol' orange sweet potatoes?

Kris' Kitchen said...

When reading your post I saw this post on your sidebar...had to read this too. Purple...WOW...this is great. I'd love to find these and thanks for your ideas on how to get them. And sweetened condensed milk...good thinking. When we adopted 2 older girls from Russia they ate sweetened condensed milk by the can...I had to take it away. They said in Russia people eat it on everything and they had been deprived being in the orphanage. But, I see how it can be a good topping not just an ingredient. Lovely and fun post, and as always, you are so successfully creative.

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