A silky, creamy and glorious pie that's part baked cheesecake, part custard flan. But oh-so-much more exciting with a filling made from sweet potatoes and apples that's creamy and flavorful. This sweet potato popcorn pie is delicately sweet, with flavors of apple, pecan, pretzel, and a crunch of popcorn.
Sweet Potato Popcorn Pie [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Base:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1.7 ounces pretzels
- 2 dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- A good pinch of salt, only if pretzels are unsalted
For the Pie Filling:
- 14 ounces sweet potatoes (approximately 2 small potatoes)
- 3 eating apples
- 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons cashews (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Popcorn:
- Scant 1/8 cup un-popped corn, for popping
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Begin by preparing the sweet potatoes and apples. Put a medium saucepan of water to boil. Core and chop two of the apples into small chunks and put them in the saucepan. Put a colander above this. Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks and put these into the colander and cover with a small pan lid. Cook for 10 minutes, until soft.
- Chop and core the remaining apple and combine in a bowl with the lemon juice and cinnamon.
- While these are cooking, make the base. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a crumb — you don't want a powder. You could do this by hand with a rolling pin if not using a food processor.
- Line the bottom of a 7-inch springform tin with parchment paper, and lightly oil the sides with coconut oil.
- Pour the base crumb into the tin and press down evenly with your hands or the back of a spoon.
- You can now drain the sweet potato and apple and place these in the food processor (if not using one, a hand-held blender should work). Add to these the cashews, maple syrup, vanilla essence, and arrowroot powder. Pulse on high power until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Stir half of the cinnamon apple pieces in by hand, and pour the filling mixture into the tin. Level out with the back of a spoon and sprinkle on the remaining apple pieces.
- Cook in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes.
- Once cooked, leave to cool in the tin before putting in the refrigerator to set completely. You can serve sooner, but it won't be as solid.
- Serve with freshly popped corn.
- This pie will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for a week.
Soak cashews overnight in water if not using a high-powered food processor.