I created this recipe to give HONOR to my mother. She taught me what she knew about cooking as only she could do. She had lots of patience, & always taught me to take advantage of what ever I had on hand when it came to cooking. Considering there were 13 of us in the family.
I do not remember the exact recipe she used when I was a kid, but this is my SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO HER & her cooking skills. I made these pies with lots of love & in her memory. They turned out great, I know she would have been proud of these pies. The only difference is she would have made the pie crusts from scratch.
This recipe should make 2 Deep dish pies or 3 Store bought deep dish pie tins. I love using vanilla bean paste when baking, it has the consistency of a syrup and has the specks from the vanilla bean in it. I love the flavor it packs and order it from Amazon in a 32 ounce size since I do a lot of baking. I never bother using Imitation Vanilla, as I figure it is a waste of money, that is just my personal opinion. Cook potatoes in a large pot of water for about 1/2 hour or so till tender. Allow to cool then peel.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add peeled potatoes to a large bowl. I prefer using a hand mixer to beat potatoes, and then I remove any strings from potatoes that wrap around the blade. You may need to repeat several times to remove all of the strings from the potatoes.
Now add the vanilla bean paste, melted butter and condensed milk . Beat till blended together.
Combine the wondra flour, salt, and brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg together in a small bowl then add mixture to potatoes and beat till blended together, stir in lemon juice and zest, and blend.
Add eggs & evaporated milk to a medium bowl, beat together then add to sweet potato mixture and beat till potato mixture is creamy and smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared pie shells, then place in preheated 350 degree F. oven and bake for one hour. Remove from oven, Filling will be puffy on top but will settle upon cooling.
TO MAKE THE HOMEMADE PIE CRUST:Cut lard or Crisco into flour salt mixture, then using a fork or pastry blender, blend until crumbs are coarse & granular. Add 3-6 tablespoons of cold water, a little at a time. Mix quickly and evenly through the flour until the dough just holds a ball. Divide dough in half, and roll dough to about 1/8th thickness. Lift edge of pan, and adjust crust to pan, prick with fork and crimp edge. Fill with your favorite pie filling . Repeat same technique for the second pie. Then bake as directed. Makes 2 Pie Crusts. In this day an age you can easily substitute Crisco for the lard, and even use a food processor to pulse and make the crust. This recipe is from my cookbook SHARING OUR FAVORITE RECIPES on page 238.
After pie has cooled, Cut and serve with whipped cream or as desired.