Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crustless Sweet Potato Pie a lightened-up version of a fall favorite

Sweet potatoes were among the other items we hauled back from the Chickasaw-vendor roadside markets. Hubby fretted that the size of the potatoes, which were on the medium-to-small side and said they wouldn’t be too terrific for baking. I said no problem; I had a recipe that called for mashed ones that were just this size.

A gooey sweet-potato casserole with the nuts-and-marshmallow topping is highly popular this time of year and is a standard Thanksgiving accompaniment; I could tell this recipe (Sweet Potato Pie without the pie crust) was a lightened version of that one. The bottom layer consisted of the mushed-up sweet potatoes, with spices, butter, milk, and brown sugar added. The top layer was like a pecan pie, with nuts sprinkled on and a corn-syrup topping poured around. So it was like digging through a pecan pie layer to get to the potato layer. Sweet! But not overly sweet. I used it as a veggie to go with my main course last night, but it would be just as great saved for dessert with maybe a little fat-free whipped topping dotted on.

And oh, the pleasure of being in the same dwelling while this recipe (from “Celebrating a Healthy Harvest”) is baking! Cinnamon and nutmeg-y smells, combined with slightly cooler temperatures yesterday and the arrival of some new pecan-colored boots I’d ordered through the mail, made fall seem as though it was just around the block. How we’re all ready for it!

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
2 tablespoons skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Pour into a greased 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Spread mixture evenly. Spread chopped pecans over the sweet-potato mixture. Combine sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, corn syrup, and butter until completely mixed. Pour this mixture over pecans. Distribute evenly. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is puffed up and golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes; serve. Makes 8 servings.

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