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.