Category Archives: vanilla extract

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie hot from the oven
Sweet Potato Pie hot, Hot, HOT from the oven

Ingredients;

1 sweet pastry pie crust
1kg large sweet potatoes
50g unsalted butter, melted
100g golden caster sugar
4 level tablespoons plain flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs

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This pie uses veg instead of fruit so it’s a healthy(ier) Soul Food dessert and what’s even better, it tastes great. This recipe makes enough pie filling to fill two sweet pastry pie crusts, so I usually freeze half instead of baking two pies (it’s better for my waistline:)).

To start with, heat your oven to 200C, wash your sweet potatoes and prick them all over with a fork. Then lay them out on a baking tray and pop them into the oven for about 50 minutes to an hour. When they’re done they should be soft and cooked through fully, I use a skewer or cocktail stick to check they are soft in the middle. Once they are done get them out of the oven and turn it down to 180C.

You will need to leave them to cool for a few minutes once they come out of the oven so you don’t burn your fingers at the next step, which is to peel them and get rid of the skin. This isn’t difficult, just pull at the skin and it should come off fairly easily once they’re cooked. The hotter they are the easier I find it to peel them, put it’s a fine line between hot enough and sore fingers, so be careful!

Put the flesh of the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash them. I find a potato masher works best but you can use a fork. Next melt the butter over a low heat and add it along with the sugar, flour, nutmeg, vanilla extract and a large pinch of cinnamon to the mashed sweet potato.

Whisk 2 eggs in a separate bowl or mug and add this to the rest, then mash everything together until it’s completely combined.

Next spoon the mixture into the pastry case and spread it around evenly. Take the left over uncooked pastry, roll it out and cut it into strips to “cover” the pie. The easiest way I’ve found to get the woven finish is to do the weaving on a sheet of greaseproof paper and then flip this onto the rest of the pie.

Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the exposed pastry. Make sure the oven has cooled to 180C and put the pie in for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

I usually serve this with either some ice-cream or whipped cream. It’s best eaten fresh, just allowed to cool for about half an hour, but it can also be eaten cold.

Recipe: Apple Cake

Apple Cake
Apple Cake

Ingredients;

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 extra-large egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated apples
1/2 cup raisins

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Preheat your oven to 170 C.

Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt & all spice) in a large bowl.

In a measuring jug, mix together your vegetable oil, beaten egg and vanilla, then mix into the dry ingredients, until everything has been incorporated. Finally stir in your apples and raisins and mix through well.

Pour into a 9-inch cake tin and bake for 30-35 mins, until a toothpick inserted and wiggled around comes out clean.

Allow to cool fully before cutting.

You can also use this mix to make cupcakes / muffins, reduce the cooking time by approx 5 mins. I also like to soak my raisins in whisky overnight for extra flavour.

Recipe: Mango Muffins

Mango Muffins
Mango Muffins

Ingredients;

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and coarsely grated
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain flour

Makes approx 18 small cupcakes/muffins

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When I tried to make this, I discovered that the easiest way to get the flesh off the mango is to peel it with a potato peeler and then grate it on the coarse side of your grater, and then I chopped it lightly to make the pieces a little shorter. You can also substitute tinned mango if fresh is not available, in this case just mash the mango to a paste with your hands.

Cup measures can be bought in most large supermarkets or homeware stores these days and I find them much easier to use than having to weigh everything. A plastic set is best, as you can use them in the microwave if needed and they can also be cleaned in your dishwasher.

To melt butter, place it in a microwave proof container and heat for 20 secs on the lowest power setting (usually 30%), remove, stir and repeat until fully melted.

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Start by mixing your mangoes and melted butter.

Add in the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, baking soda & salt and mix well.

Finally, mix the flour in and stir until fully incorporated, the mix should be damp and very sticky.

Place paper muffin covers in your muffin pan and spoon in the mixture until it sits just below the top of the pan. These muffins won’t rise very much.

For small muffins, bake for approx 40 mins at 180 C, if you are using a large muffin pan, then increase the time to approx 50 mins.

To check that muffins are done, stick a cocktail stick into one, and swirl around. If it comes out clean or with just crumbs, then they are done. Remove from tins and leave to cool.

Will store for approx 5-7 days in an airtight box.