Sunday, November 19, 2017

Tastykake Sweet Potato Baked Pie

Sweet potato pie is just pumpkin's pie evil twin.

Many years ago, my family's Thanksgiving feast was winding down, and I decided to go up for one more slice of pie. I went to the counter, being careful to avoid the mincemeat monstrosity, and cut out a slice of "pumpkin" pie. I thought it tasted a bit off, but it was still sweet, and I went up to get another slice. My mom was already up at the counter, so I asked her if she could give me another slice of "pumpkin" pie. "Oh, you mean the sweet potato pie? Sure!". The realization of what I had been eating hit me like a ton of bricks. Sweet potato pie. Almost instantly my stomach started to grumble, and it was all I could do to keep my food where it belonged. I mainly knew sweet potatoes as the weird, orange tubers that came in a can. Some lunatics would spread them out in a baking dish, covering them in a layer of marshmallows before throwing them into the oven to bake together. My appetite for pie gone, I instead grabbed a couple of "chocolate chip" cookies, only to discover they were actually full of raisins.

So, you could say that I've had something against sweet potatoes since that fateful day. It's only been in recent years that I've actually started eating them, mostly in baked or mashed form. I actually tried one of those sweet potato casseroles last year and was able to choke down a small forkful. I elected not to try a second bite since I wasn't entirely sure I could fight the gag reflex. I don't know much about manners, but I assume it's impolite to vomit all over the dinner table in front of guests.

Thinking back to my first experience with sweet potato pie, I realized it wasn't the taste or texture that turned me off, as much as the deception that I was actually eating a pumpkin pie. So, when I saw that Tastykake was offering a sweet potato version of their baked pie, I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot.

I almost didn't go through with it though. That picture of the sliced yam on the front really bothered me. But, the more I thought about it, is it really any worse than pies made from pumpkins? Both are foods that are rather unappetizing on their own, and pumpkin pie can be really why not sweet potato?

Right out of the package, Tastykake's Sweet Potato Baked Pie looks like any of their other baked pies. Maybe it's just me, but I think the tiny tin tray makes the whole thing seem a little classier. It feels a bit more special than some pie that's just sealed away in a box. It also caused me to question why there hasn't been a chicken pot pie Lunchable yet. There was the temptation to toss it in the oven for a few minutes, but even I recognized that would be overkill.

The crust isn't exactly flaky, in fact, it's a bit chewy. Maybe I should have tossed it in the over after all. The filling is an unappetizing orangish brown color that was closer in consistency to fruit pie filling than the usual sweet potato pie. It smelled a lot better than it looks, so I went ahead and tried a bite. And you know what? It was actually really good. It's very sweet, but there's a bit of spiciness, no doubt due to the cinnamon and nutmeg present in the filling. My main complaint is that the crust is just a bit too chewy and bland. That normally wouldn't be a problem, but there's so much of it that it can sometimes take away from the flavor of the filling. If I were to buy these again, I would be very tempted to toss them in an oven for a few minutes, just to crisp up the crust a bit. A little bit of cinnamon and sugar on the outside wouldn't hurt either. I might even toss some marshmallows on top, just for the hell of it.

So, if you're looking for a sweet potato pie you can eat with one hand, you could do a lot worse than Tastykake.

1 comment:

  1. this is the perfect treat that i can get so easily and munch on as i help with thesis writing. it is difficult to cook for myself with such a busy schedule. thank you for posting with this


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