Watch out pumpkin pie! There's a new fall favorite in town. These Mini Sweet Potato Pies are as tasty as they are adorable and perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any fall or winter celebration.
To make the crust, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, water and vinegar and whisk again.
Take small pieces of the dough and, using your fingers, evenly press it over the bottom and up the sides of each of the cups of a muffin tin.
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well.
Mash the potatoes in a bowl. The potatoes should yield about 2¾ cups mashed potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Add butter to hot potatoes, and mash until smooth. Add sugar, nutmeg, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine baking powder with evaporated milk, and stir to blend. Add to mashed potatoes. Whisk mixture until velvety. Mound into pie shell, then spread evenly to edges.
Bake until pie has set and is lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
Place ¾ cup sugar in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover the sugar. Turn the heat to high and at the same time, turn the mixer to medium speed.
While the sugar cooks, whisk the whites to frothy.
Once frothy turn the speed of the mixer to medium high and add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time, whipping constantly to build a thick white meringue.
Once the whites are thick and white, you want your sugar to be at a soft ball stage or 235 F. You can use a candy thermometer to measure, or scoop a bit with a cold spoon and drop it into ice water to test if it’s done. If it’s ready, the sugar will form a “soft ball” or be pliable. Be careful not to overcook or you will end up with caramel.
With the mixer running at medium high, pour the hot sugar down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the whisk. Whisk on high until the mixture has risen, then dropped and cooled.
To top the pies with the meringue, place the meringue in a piping bag and pipe dollops of meringue onto the tops of the cooked pies. Alternately, you could scoop the meringue on top of the pies with an ice cream scoop and smooth with an offset spatula.
Optional: Toast the meringue with a torch.