If you have to make a dessert for Thanksgiving this is an easy and relatively inexpensive one to try. A couple years back Dave Lieberman (Food Network) did an episode called Thanksgiving for $45. Since seeing the episode air I've made this pie at least 8 times, quite possibly more. During the holiday season it's my go to dessert.
2 sweet potatoes, about 10 ounces each
1 3/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about 15 whole crackers, finely ground)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted (regular will work in a pinch)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (whole will work in a pinch)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
glass with a flat bottom
The first thing you want to do is wrap the sweet potatoes in a double layer of foil. Roast them in the oven at 350 for 1 hr 15 minutes. The goal is really soft tender sweet potatoes.
While the potatoes are roasting stick 15 graham crackers in the food processor or a big resealable plastic bag and crush them until they're really fine. These two steps can be done a few days early to make your life easier. You could also grab a prepackaged pie crust, but it's not nearly as fun.
Measure 1 3/4 cups of the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup brown sugar into the pie pan. Mix lightly. Pour the butter over the cracker/sugar mixture and mix until it's evenly moist. Use your glass with a flat bottom to press the graham crackers into an even layer in the pie plate. I like to start in the middle and work my way out.
Stick the crust in the over for 10 minutes at 350 to firm up. Take it out when it's golden brown and smelling all sorts of yummy.
Grab your cooled potatoes. Unwrap the foil then peel off the skin. This should be really easy to do. Put the potatoes in the mixing bowl and mash with a fork/potato masher. The consistency you mash your potatoes to will be the consistency of your pie, so do a good job. If you have any pieces that aren't soft enough stick them in the microwave for a few seconds.
Mix the remaining ingredients into the potatoes. Dave says to use a whisk, but I tend to use a spoon. When the batter is smooth pour it into the prebaked pie shell. Put the whole thing in the oven and cook approx 40 minutes until it is set.
The absolute hardest part of this is waiting for it to cool before you dig in!
How much does this cost?
I keep most of the ingredients for this in the fridge/pantry year round. The only things I have to buy are the sweet potatoes, cream, and graham crackers. For one pie these will run me around $3.50 if I'm just grabbing things, less if I plan it out and buy things on sale.