You probably know Patti LaBelle for of her multiple Grammy’s, Emmy’s, and philanthropy work, but you might not know about her skills in the kitchen. The legendary singer is the host of the Cooking Channel show Patti LaBelle’s Place, and author to four best-selling cookbooks. When LaBelle came out with her own sweet potato pie at Wal-Mart a few years ago, the dessert sent the internet into a collective frenzy. If you don’t want to risk the inevitable shortage come the holidays, you’re in luck. Check out these tips and the famed recipe that LaBelle shared with TODAY so that you can make your own version of her sweet potato pie.
Homemade Crust is Key
If you’re serious about your pie game, you won’t come within 10 feet of a store-bought crust. LaBelle recommends using a butter-flavored shortening to get the classic taste of butter, but also the tender, flaky crumb that shortening provides. Your first instinct may be to work the dough until it’s smooth, but the key is actually to not overdo it. Make sure it doesn’t melt too soon and start with chilled shortening, and use ice water to help the pie crust stay flaky.
Don’t Skip the black bottom
One thing you’ll find in Patti’s pie that differs from other sweet potato pies is the “black bottom.” A thin layer of brown sugar coating on the top of the crust keeps the crust from becoming soggy. Brush the crust with melted butter, then sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Par-bake it for 15 minutes to ensure that it stays nice and crisp while the rest of the pie cooks.
Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice
Not only does the dessert have a generous dose of cinnamon, but there’s actually *more* nutmeg, adding to its unique flavor. Most sweet potato pie recipes will call only for cinnamon, leaving the filling a little one-note. Once the pie is cooled and set, top with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and enjoy your masterpiece.
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