Sweet Potato Custard Pecan Tarts

This is what happens when I couldn’t decide if I made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or a pan of roasted sweet potatoes topped with gooey browned marshmallows on top.  Some would say make both, but that would be the easy way out, wouldn’t it?  Welcome to my madness.

So into the kitchen, I went with what I thought was a reasonably simple plan.  Sweet potatoes, pie dough, marshmallows, and pecans.  All good.  Then suddenly I thought, ‘Ooooh! What about a sweet potato custard filling instead?’ And my simple idea got tossed out the window.  But that’s okay, a couple of hours in the kitchen on a weekend afternoon is my jam.

I had never attempted merging pie dough with graham crackers and pecans before, but in my head, it sounded brilliant. Lo and behold, it was a risk worth taking that I’ll do again.  The dough baked into a beautiful brown tender crust with the perfect touch of sweetness and crunch, and the rich custard filling infused with the sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream, had the exact flavors of fall and Thanksgiving I was looking for.


For the custard:
6 eggs
2 whole sweet potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat half and half
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the crust:
9 graham crackers
2 packages prepared pie dough, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves

For the topping:
6 large marshmallows, cut in half
12 pecan halves


For the Custard:
1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and set your oven rack to the middle position. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for one hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.

2) Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them in half, so they cool.

3) When cool enough to handle, scoop the sweet potato flesh from their skins and transfer it to a food processor. Discard the skins. Add the eggs, sugar, cream, half and half, and the seasonings, and process the ingredients together until they’re silky and smooth. Transfer the custard to a bowl and set aside.

For the Crust:

1) Clean and dry the food processor container and place the graham crackers, brown sugar, and pecans into the container. Process the ingredients together until you have fine crumbs.

2) Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface and position one of the pie dough sheets in the center of the paper. Sprinkle the graham cracker mixture over the top of the dough, then cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick, pressing the graham cracker mixture into the dough.

3) Using a four-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into evenly sized circles. You should get six circles per sheet. Repeat step two with the second piece of pie dough, so you have twelve circles total.

4) Spray a standard-sized muffin pan with vegetable spray and press one pie dough circle into each hole, crumb side up.

To Assemble:
1) Spoon the custard filling into each muffin hole, filling them just to the top of the dough.

2) Place the pan in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the custard is firm to the touch, and the crust is brown.

3) Remove the pan from the oven and increase your oven temperature to broil.

4) Top each tart with half of a marshmallow and place the pan in the oven under the broiler to brown the marshmallows. Watch the marshmallows closely; they will go from brown to burned quickly.

5) When the marshmallows have browned, remove the tray from the oven and top each tart with a pecan half. Transfer the tarts to a serving dish and serve warm.

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