Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Tart {Bake!}

For our second Twitterbake from Nick Malgieri‘s new book, Bake!, I chose the Old-fashioned Sweet Potato Tart. Kayte was on board, so we set up our baking time, bought our ingredients, and got ready to bake.

I prepared for baking by roasting the sweet potatoes. I had planned to make the tart dough ahead of time, but my schedule didn’t allow for it. So at the appointed baking time, I mixed up the tart dough on page 14, then followed the shaping instructions on page 16.

I have always been intimidated by tart and pie doughs, but Nick’s instructions make it a simple process. That’s the nice thing about this book. At the beginning of each section, Nick teaches an “essential technique”, in this case sweet pastry dough. He then goes on to apply the technique in a number of recipes that follow. Just like his classroom instruction, the techniques are taught and then put to use, and the recipes build on what has been previously demonstrated.

After building the pastry dough and pressing it into the pan, I peeled the sweet potatoes and mashed them with a potato masher. I stirred in sugar, salt, and spices, then whisked in eggs, cream, and vanilla. I poured the filling into the crust, and smoothed the top a bit.

I baked the tart at 350°F for about 45 minutes. It appeared to be done, but hadn’t really begun to caramelize, so I left it in the oven for a few more minutes. It was well set and had just begun to brown.

I served the tart at my daughter’s birthday party, along with German chocolate cake and chocolate pudding pie. I had baked the tart in an 11-inch pan and estimated that I could get about 20 slices from it. I had cut three pieces — one each for my wife, my brother-in-law, and myself. The tart was delicious, especially with the lightly sweetened cinnamon whipped cream I had made to go with it.

I enjoyed my slice of tart. It was sweet, but not overly so. Not quite as heavily spiced as the typical pumpkin pie, but very flavorful nonetheless.

I had no sooner finished my tart when a commotion broke out in the dining room. I hurried out there to find Bailey the Wonder Beagle standing on the table, enjoying the rest of the sweet potato tart. I’m not sure he enjoyed the subtleties of the tart as much as I did, but he certainly ate it with more gusto.

Bailey survived my both wrath and the fiber from the sweet potatoes, although he did wake my daughter up fives times overnight to let him out. Even though I didn’t get to try a second piece of the tart, it was definitely worth having made it, and worth making again. And I’m one step closer to overcoming my fear of tart dough.



  1. November 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

    […] I started by making the Sweet Pastry Dough on page 14, which is the same dough we used for the Old-fashioned Sweet Potato Tart recipe last week. After mixing up the dough in the food processor, I wrapped it and put it in the […]

  2. Kayte said,

    November 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

    It was fun baking this with you! Agree totally with the assessment, not too overwhelming in taste but I liked it like that…I think Mark was looking for more of a pumpkin pie spice because it looked similar to pumpkin pie, his favorite pie this time of year. I tried the cinnamon whipped cream on subsequent pieces and he was very happy with it having the extra cinnamon. The last piece he had I mixed in pumpkin pie spice with the whipped cream and he shouted, “Bingo!” so guess what he really wanted was a pumpkin pie…lol. I learned a lot making the tart crust so am eager to try that again. The Lemon Bars we are going to make this weekend has that for a crust, so that will be fun to get to use it again for something like fruit bars. We have 2 table surfers here as well, they need access to a chair to get to the table, and don’t think they don’t watch carefully for someone who mistakenly leaves a chair pushed out. It happens.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

      Bailey can stretch to reach the table from his hind legs, but he needs a chair to get up on it.

      I’m looking forward to the lemon bars. I didn’t realize it was the same crust as the tart. It will be nice to use it again for something else.

  3. Anne Marie said,

    November 10, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Last Thanksgiving we heard a lapping from the kitchen. Scout had mounted the counter and was eating the pumpkin pie. Last night I opened a can of pumpkin and she got all excited!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      Well, it does look something like dog food, and smells a lot better.

  4. Heather said,

    November 10, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Your tart looks delicious. I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who deals with a food-stealing hound. I think it’s their incredible sense of smell that gets them into trouble. They can’t help themselves. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      I did read somewhere that once a hound locks onto a scent, it short circuits its brain and it can’t stop itself.

  5. Abby said,

    November 9, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Ha! Love the story!! And the tart sounds yummy, too. I’m so excited to get to the tarts and pies section of Modern Baker! Definitely my weakest area of baking…..

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      Actually, tarts and pies are why I started the Modern Baker Challenge. I’m enjoying the breads and yeast-risen specialties, but the pastries are where I have a lot to learn.

  6. sallybr said,

    November 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Oh, my gosh…. this is priceless!!!!!

    Poor Bailey, maybe learned a lesson? (I’m afraid not…)

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

      Beagles are funny creatures. I think he knows he’s going to get into trouble when he does these things, but he either can’t stop himself or he figures it’s worth it.

  7. November 9, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Haha, love this story! Your tart is beautiful and at least you got to taste it so you could report to us. And you weren’t the one that had to get up in the night with the doggy tummy issues. So many silver linings!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      Yes, unlike the stolen Stollen, I at least got to sample this one before Bailey got to it. He sleeps with M, so she gets to deal with his late-night meanderings. He occasionally goes out during the night, but usually when he wakes her up it’s because he wants to sneak into our room. We generally don’t let him, as J is mildly allergic, but every now and then I wake up to find him snuggled up against me under the covers. Strange dog.

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