SWEET POTATO MERINGUE PIES
To get the perfect meringue topping make sure the sugar water is hot and almost a thick syrup before adding it to the whipped egg whites.
PREPARATION: 20 MIN BAKING: 90 MIN CHILLING: 2½ HR SERVES 6
FILLING 3 large sweet potatoes 10 ml (2 tsp) oil 30 ml (2 tbsp) ground cinnamon 10 ml (2 tsp) ground ginger 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin 5 ml (1 tsp) nutmeg 5 ml (1 tsp) salt 250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence 4 eggs 1 x 385 g can condensed milk TOPPING 15 ml (1 tbsp) golden syrup 500 ml (2 cups) caster sugar 200 ml (¾ cup) water 3 egg whites 125 ml (½ cup) icing sugar, sifted 125 ml (½ cup) cornflour
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
1 FILLING Arrange the potatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 2 Cut the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh into a blender. Add the spices, salt, sugar and vanilla and purée until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the condensed milk and blend until thick. 3 Reduce oven temperature to 150 °C. Pour the filling into six ramekins and bake for 45 minutes or until set like a custard. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes. 4 TOPPING Combine the syrup, sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until slightly reduced and syrupy. 5 Meanwhile, using an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the hot syrup. When all the liquid is incorporated, the egg whites will be shiny and fluffy. Continue whipping for 10 minutes until the mixture is cool.
6 Top the sweet potato mixture with the whipped egg whites, using a spatula to create meringue-like peaks. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours to set the meringue. Crisp the topping with a kitchen blowtorch.
7 Put the icing sugar in a bowl, mix the cornflour through and dust over the crispy topping.