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No Pumpkin? No Worries!

Pam offers three mouth-watering alternatives for holiday dessert

Sweet Potato Pie

Makes 1 9-inch deep-dish pie

You can also make this pie with canned pumpkin substituting 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin for the 2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes

1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell

2 sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces each), pricked with a fork

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (14 ounces) canned condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk

2 eggs plus 2 yolks

Whether you're using homemade or boxed refrigerated dough, have pre-baked pie shell ready. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Microwave sweet potatoes on high power until fork-tender, 9 to 10 minutes. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and mash flesh with a fork.

Along with ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt, add mashed sweet potatoes to a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until potato starts to stick to pan bottom, about 5 minutes. Add condensed and evaporated milks; cook until sputtery. Whir eggs and yolks in a blender. With blender running, add a cup or so of the hot pumpkin mixture, a large spoonful at a time, to temper eggs. Add remaining pumpkin mixture; continue to puree to form a silky texture filling.

Pour warm filling into warm pie shell. Bake until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until warm or room temperature. Serve.

Next: Fried Apple Handpies. >>

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