More than you want to know about a potato! Origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be either in Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum).
Although the softer, orange variety is often called a yam in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called yam(s), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae.
The plant does not tolerate frost. Abundant sunshine and warm nights are needed. Annual rainfalls of 30–39 inches are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 20 inches in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water logging, this may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.
Depending on the cultivar and conditions, tuberous roots mature in three to nine months. With care, early maturing cultivars can be grown as an annual summer crop in temperate areas, such as the northern United States.
Cured sweet potatoes will keep for a year or more when stored at 55–59 degrees at 90% relative humidity. Colder temperatures will injure the roots.
|Sweet Potato, baked
(Note: “–” indicates data unavailable)
|BASIC MACRONUTRIENTS AND CALORIES|
|Fat – total||0.30 g||—|
|Dietary Fiber||6.60 g||26|
|Vitamin B1||0.21 mg||18|
|Vitamin B2||0.21 mg||16|
|Vitamin B3||2.97 mg||19|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents)||4.31 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.57 mg||34|
|Folate (DFE)||12.00 mcg|
|Folate (food)||12.00 mcg|
|Pantothenic Acid||1.77 mg||35|
|Vitamin C||39.20 mg||52|
|Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)|
|Vitamin A International Units (IU)||38436.00 IU|
|Vitamin A mcg Retinol Activity Equivalents (RAE)||1921.80 mcg (RAE)||214|
|Beta-Carotene Equivalents||23061.00 mcg|
|Vitamin E mg Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents (ATE)||1.42 mg (ATE)||9|
|Vitamin E International Units (IU)||2.12 IU|
|Vitamin E mg||1.42 mg|
|Vitamin K||4.60 mcg||5|
Sweet Potato Pie
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (1 stick)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cider or white wine vinegar
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon whiskey, rye or bourbon
Candied Pecans, homemade or store bought
Directions and Special equipment: 9-inch pie plate, glass preferred
Filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a small roasting pan and bake until easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile make the dough: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor with the metal blade until combined. Add the shortening and pulse about 10 times. Add the butter and continue to pulse until it resembles cornmeal mixed with bean-size bits of butter. Beat the egg yolk and vinegar together, add and pulse 3 to 4 times, but don’t let the dough form a ball in the machine. Remove the blade, and gather the dough together by hand. If dough does not come together, sprinkle up to 1 tablespoon of ice cold water over the dough and bring together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and shape into disk. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (To make the dough by hand, see below.)
Peel the cooked sweet potatoes and mash lightly with a fork; you should have about 2 cups puree. Mix the sweet potatoes and butter in the food processor until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Set aside.
Lightly dust the counter with flour. Roll the dough into an 11 to 12-inch circle and transfer to the pie pan. Trim the dough so that the edges hang about 1/2 inch over the pan; fold edges under and flute as desired. (See how to). Pierce the crust all over with a fork, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to a day.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven of the 425 degree F oven. Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust sets and begins to brown around edges, about 25 minutes. Lift foil and weights out of crust, lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F. and continue to bake until crust begins to brown on the bottom, about 10 to 12 minutes more. Pour filling into the warm crust and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on rack
When ready to serve, whip the cream with the whiskey until it holds soft peaks. Top pie with whipped cream and candied pecans. Serve.
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