‘Yanked’ New England Sweet Potato Pie

What makes this pie New England? The addition of rum, of course. Rum played a huge role in our Yankee heritage, right along-side cider and maple syrup. By looking at our ancestors tavern bills and journals, it is obvious that barns couldn’t be raised, fields couldn’t be plowed and ships couldn’t be built unless there was a barrel of rum being tapped. Called Kill Devil or Ockuby, this liquor was being produced at mere cents a gallon for well over a century. One of our prized drinks called a Flip had, as its liquor, rum.
On the other hand, sweet potatoes are not found in many recipes of New England origin. So we will Yank it, adding the two together, top if off with something crunchy and  hope you enjoy it.

‘Yanked‘ New England Sweet Potato Pie
Many of you won’t be able taste the difference between Sweet Potato Pie and Pumpkin Pie. That’s because the seasonings are almost identical. So to separate them as much as possible and give this recipe its’ own identity, I have tweeked it, hoping some of you may try it this Holiday season.

1(9-inch)unbaked single pie crust
2 c. mashed cooked sweet potato
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 T. dark rum(or 1 t. rum extract)
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
3 eggs
Pinch ground cloves
Hazelnut Streusel, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Combine sweet potato and next 8 ingredients. in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon into the pie crust and evenly sprinkle with Hazelnut Streusel and bake for 1 hour or until set; Cool before eating.

Hazelnut Streusel
1/4 c. raw hazelnuts*
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 t. nutmeg

* Prepare raw hazelnuts by roasting on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 350-degrees F. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and rub skin off with a towel. Chop and add in a bowl with remainder of ingredients. You can substitute canned, or jarred, hazelnuts just as easily.