I’ve never really been a big fan of sweet potato. I didn’t dislike it, but I never really wanted to eat it. Then, last Thanksgiving, someone made sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and everything changed. OF COURSE it was the marshmallows that made a difference. So this year I decided to try sweet potato pie with…wait for it…toasted marshmallow meringue! I love any excuse to use meringue, so I was excited to get started. To make it even better, I decided to go for mini sweet potato pies with toasted marshmallow meringue because everything is better in miniature form, right?! Right.
These little pies are perfect bite sized treats, which works out really well for a Thanksgiving dessert table. Think about it. Do you usually have multiple pies or desserts, and you can’t just choose one to eat? So then you end being that person who’s like, “OK, but I’ll just have a really tiny piece of each.” Mini pies are the perfect fix because you can just add a little one on your plate instead of having to cut out a teeny tiny piece of pie. And they’re cute. I mean, cuteness is pretty important to my desserts.
Normally I would tell you how finicky meringue can be, but this isn’t your average meringue. You’re not baking it with the expectation that it will harden a certain way or leak sugar or anything because it’s in a hotter oven for a very short period of time so that it toasts lightly on the outside, while the inside stays soft. You would normally bake meringue on a low temperature for about 45 minutes. Not with this pie. Plus, the marshmallow fluff changes the texture a bit. Basically, if you’re intimated by meringue, you don’t have to worry about this one! The one caveat is that you should put the meringue on the pie right before serving for best results. Otherwise, the meringue will deteriorate over time because it has not baked all the way through, causing it to bubble and begin to resemble egg whites again. So if you’re making pie ahead of time, I recommend making the sweet potato ahead but then adding the meringue and toasting lightly right before serving. Although, everything is better fresh if possible anyway!
- 2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes (2 medium sweet potatoes)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk, divided in half
- 3-4 rolls of store bought crust
Spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray. Lay out the pie crust dough and use a round object like a lid or cup to cut out circles about 3-4 inches wide. Press the circles into the cavities of a muffin tin and stretch or pinch the dough to fit as needed.
Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into chunks. Move the chunks to a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, and lower the heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can cut or puncture a piece easily without hitting any resistance.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drain the water, leaving the potatoes in the pot. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, butter and about half of the evaporated milk, and simmer for about 5 minutes. As it cooks, use a potato masher to mix together the ingredients (I actually don’t have a potato masher, so I just used a large spoon and it works fine). Mash until the mixture is as smooth as possible, and remove from heat.
Let the potatoes cool for several minutes. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla and the other half of the evaporated milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and pour into the cooled potatoes mixture and stir until combined.
Distribute the sweet potato pie filling among the crusted muffin cavities. You can fill them almost completely full because they will not rise much. Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the pies are fully cookies though (adjust baking time if you’re making a full pie). You’ll know they are done when the crusts are lightly browning and the middles jiggle only a little – it should hold it’s shape but not be hard.
Remove from the oven to cool on a wire rack while you prepare the marshmallow meringue topping.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- Approx. 3.5 oz marshmallow cream (half jar)
Whisk the egg whites for several minutes until light and foamy. Add the cream of tartar and mix until you can tip the bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out. Continue to mix on high speed as you add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Fold in the marshmallow cream and mix carefully with a spatula so that you don’t deflate the meringue.
Remove the pies from the cupcake tin and place on a lined baking sheet. Spread or pipe the meringue generously on top of each pie. Increase the oven temp to 400 degrees and bake the pies for about 5 minutes, watching closely until the edges of the meringue begin to brown. Remove the pies to cool completely.
The outside of the meringue should be slightly hard to the touch, and the inside will have a frosting-like consistency. You may notice that the sugar from the meringue may also leak when left out for a while, so again, I really recommend adding the meringue right before serving. These are fun little pies to make and they remind me so much of Thanksgiving! Enjoy!