This recipe is a special creation and the first one I have loaded with my new recipe plug-in. This is how it came to be.
I found a deal on organic yams and bought a 5 pound bag. Now what to do with all those yams… especially as I had developed an unusual craving for pie. Okay sweet potato pie! But I didn’t want an overly sweet pie. I love the combination of yams with caramelized onions, which I discovered through my friend Harini, who used to make a terrific yam and red onion dip. One of the secrets of caramelizing is that it brings out the natural sweetness of any food, so one doesn’t have to add much sweetener when using caramelized ingredients. I wondered how that would taste in a savory crust. The rest is history!
You will notice that this pie is free of gluten, dairy and cane sugar. I always find ways to make what I love without gluten, because it is ubiquitous in the food supply and finds its way into foods it has no business being in. So many people are showing up with wheat and gluten intolerances from the overuse of this highly hybridized, refined and nutrient-free carbohydrate, that I suggest doing without it whenever you can. I omit dairy because many of us don’t digest it well as adults and it contributes to congestion and stagnation. And refined cane sugar is on my list of “Top 10 Most Commonly Consumed Poisons”. Consumption of cane sugar creates a cascade of mischief in our bodies, sending blood sugar levels into manic cycles of highs and lows that draw excess cortisol, the stress hormone, into circulation. Chronic cortisol production exhausts the adrenal glands, affecting thyroid and estrogen/progesterone levels, and resulting in everything from sleep disturbance and insomnia, to weight gain, PMS, addiction, cravings, anxiety and depression! When I need some sweet, which we all do from time to time, I use fruit, honey, coconut palm sugar, stevia, xylitol or maple syrup. Each of these sweeteners has different qualities, and knowing which goes well with what dishes is helpful. For this recipe, I used a little honey in the yam filling and coconut sugar in the topping, and left all sweetener out of the crust, for contrast. I served the tarte to my housemate, a friend, and 5 Bernie Sanders campaign volunteers, and everyone loved it. Even so, I usually continue to tweak a new recipe over time. Let me know your results and any ideas you have for quality improvement. And enjoy!
- 1½ cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 red onion, diced
- ½ Tbs ghee or unrefined coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 Tbs cold butter, diced
- 1/4 cup ice water (may not need it all)
- 3 medium yams (enough for 2 c pureed)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup honey
- 1 lemon’s worth of grated lemon zest
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2/3 cups canned coconut milk
- 2 Tbs butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake mix
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash yams, place on a baking sheet, and prick several times with the point of a small knife. Bake about an hour, or until the yams are cooked through, and soft to the touch.
- While yams bake, prepare the crust. First caramelize diced onions in ½ Tbs ghee, by heating ghee in a sauté pan over low-medium heat, adding onions and tossing to coat. Watch carefully, turning flame down if necessary to avoid burning, and stir often until onions turn a caramel-colored brown. If onions start to blacken and burn, remove pan briefly to cool down and lower flame; continue as above. When onions are beautifully caramelized, refrigerate to cool.
- Place the flour, coconut, chilled onion and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to mince onion and combine well. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add ice water slowly until dough comes together, but before it becomes sticky. Hint, check your dough thoroughly as water may be pooling in the bottom of your container and stir in by hand if necessary; you may not need all the water.
- Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Dough should be thin, about 1/8″. Peel off top layer of parchment and invert dough onto pie dish. Peel off second sheet of paper and arrange dough, pressing in place, and fixing crust edge. If preferred, instead of rolling out dough, press into pan with your fingers, as thin as possible. Use fork to perforate crust on bottom and up sides, then bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.
- Let cool slightly on a rack before filling, about 20 minutes.
- To make the filling, peel yams and puree in food processor or food mill. Add melted butter, honey, nutmeg, coconut milk, and eggs and process until satiny smooth. (The filling can be made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
- To make the streusel, put flour mix, coconut sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture comes together a bit. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the pecans. Working quickly, rub the mixture between your fingers until the streusel is in lumps slightly larger than peas. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the tart.
- Cover exposed baked crust on the rim with tin foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is slightly puffed and set in the middle. Let cool slightly on a rack.
- Serve with a dollop of coconut cream straight out of a can that has been refrigerated.
- Substitute flour of your choice for the Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix