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Cheer Perfection

Upgrade your holiday meal with recipes from great American chefs


The 2012 James Beard Award-winning pastry chef serves up this winter-friendly sweet potato pie capped with toasted marshmallow at her Chicago restaurant and dessert bar. Drizzled with cranberry syrup and a stout-laced butterscotch sauce, this dessert is as punk rock as she is.


For pie:
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/3 c. cane sugar
Pinch salt
1/4 t. vanilla
1 T. maple syrup
1/4 t. bourbon, or to taste
2 t. melted butter
2 T. heavy cream
2/3 c. sweet potato puree
9-inch graham cracker or gingersnap pie crust
Large marshmallows

For cranberry syrup:
3/4 c. fresh cranberries
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cranberry juice
1/4 c. orange juice
1 vanilla pod
1 t. vanilla extract

For butterscotch sauce:
1/2 oz. light brown sugar
1/2 oz. dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. butter
1 c. stout
1 c. heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine egg, yolk, sugar, salt, vanilla, maple syrup and bourbon in medium bowl, stirring well. Add melted butter and heavy cream, then fold in sweet potato. Pour into crust and bake until filling is set.

2. To make cranberry syrup: Combine cranberries, sugar, cranberry juice, orange juice, vanilla pod and vanilla extract in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, then lower heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a mesh strainer. Set aside.

3. To make butterscotch sauce: Combine brown sugars, vanilla extract, butter and stout in heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Slowly bring mixture to a boil, then add cream in two batches, allowing to reduce for 1 minute after each addition. Add salt to taste, then strain mixture through mesh strainer.

4. To serve, place several marshmallows on top of pie. Broil until marshmallow tops are blistered and toasty, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drizzle with cranberry syrup and butterscotch sauce.

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