I thought long and hard about what to call these. They combine so many good things into one little package: sweet potato pie, goatâ€™s milk, single servings, crustless-ness… In the end, I went with the briefest title that would do justice to such a flavor-packed little dessert.
My inspiration for these began with a snippet in the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine. The article suggests baking pumpkin pie in ramekins rather than a traditional crust. I love the idea of a crustless pumpkin pie! Iâ€™ve always liked the custard filling better than the crust anyway. I filed that recipe idea away in my brain as something Iâ€™d have to try this fall. Then I saw these Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes on Baking Bites and almost decided to make them instead (Iâ€™m sure I will, soon enough). Instead, I combined the crustless pumpkin pie concept with the cupcake idea and added my own, unique twist.
I pulled out the 6 pack of Texas-sized silicon muffin cups I got a Renyâ€™s earlier this summer (apparently muffins are bigger in Texas). Rather than stick with pumpkin filling, I looked up the sweet potato pie recipe I made for Thanksgiving last year. It was a hit on Thanksgiving and a bit more substantial than pumpkin. When I realized Iâ€™d need evaporated milk another twist on the traditional came to mind: evaporated goats milk! I know, itâ€™s weird, but I really love the taste of anything made with goatâ€™s milk (cheese, yogurt, you name it). I have always wanted to try baking with the canned Meyenberg evaporated goatâ€™s milk I see in the store. This was my chance!
So how did my little experiments turn out? Theyâ€™re delicious! The sweet potato filling is velvety, nicely spiced, and satisfyingly dense. I love the smooth texture and melt-in-your-mouth quality of custard pie fillings. The goatâ€™s milk flavor is definitely there but itâ€™s not so strong that it distracts from everything else.
These mini-pies are really easy to make. They only require one bowl. I divided the batter into 6 large muffin cups but it would fit in 4, for more generous servings, or in ramekins of a similar size. You can eat them right out of the muffin cups or pop them out onto a plate with some ice cream or whipped cream. This takes the drama out of decided how big a piece of pie you want after dinner. Spoon or fork, enjoy dessert one bite at a time!
Crustless Sweet Potato Goatâ€™s Milk Pies
Adapted from Real Simple
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1 tbsp orange juice, optional (part of the original recipe. I left it out but it might add a little something)
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed
1/2 a 12oz can evaporated goatâ€™s milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook sweet potato in the oven or microwave. Peel it and mash it in a bowl.
In a separate bowl or a mixer, beat butter and sugar together till smooth.
Beat in egg, agave, and orange juice, if using.
Add sweet potato, milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
Spoon into large silicon muffin cups arranged on a cookie sheet or oven-safe ramekins.
Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool for a few hours before serving. Heat them up or devour them eagerly at room temperature.