1tablespoonbourbonor 2 additional teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1/2cupunsweetened coconut flakesoptional, for serving
For the Whipped Marshmallow Cream:
1cupcold heavy whipping cream
1cupmarshmallow creme (also called marshmallow fluff)(about half a 7-ounce jar)
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Prepare and roll out the pie crust. Transfer it to a standard 9-inch pie dish. Trim the edge until it is almost even with the edge of the pan. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Prepare the filling: Scrub and peel the sweet potatoes. Dice into large, 3-inch chunks.
Place chunks in a large pot and cover with cool water. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer until the potatoes are tender throughout and pierce easily with a thin knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the knife meets any resistance when you insert it, simmer the potatoes a few additional minutes, then retest.
Drain the potatoes into a colander, transfer back into the pot, and mash. Measure out 2 cups, which is the amount that you need for the pie. If there’s any extra, remove it from the pot and save for another use or snacking.
To the same pot, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt, butter, and 5 ounces (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) of the evaporated milk. Place the pot on the stove and cook on low, using a potato masher to mash the potatoes further as they cook. Simmer for about 5 minutes, continuing to stir and mash.
To make the silkiest possible pie, use an immersion blender to puree until totally smooth; you can also transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Once the mixture is smooth and smells very fragrant, remove from the heat and let cool in the pot.
While the sweet potato mixture cools, in a medium mixing bowl whisk together the remaining ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, bourbon, and vanilla extract until very smoothly combined. Keep going until you really have things nicely blended. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the warm sweet potato mixture. With a spatula, stir until evenly and smoothly combined.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Pour the prepared filling into the pie crust. Gently place the pie dish on a baking sheet and carefully set on the oven center rack. Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and continue baking until cooked through, about 50 minutes. Check the pie periodically. If the crust is browning more quickly than you would like, shield it, then continue baking as directed.
Test the pie for doneness: lightly wiggle the baking sheet. If the center of the pie has a pronounced, wavy jiggle, it needs additional time in the oven. If the center of the pie has a lighter, more structured jiggle, it’s done. Remove from the oven, place the pie dish on a wire rack, and let cool.
Toast the coconut: Heat a wide skillet over medium-low heat. Once the pan is heated, add the coconut in an even layer. Continually stir and fold over the coconut in the pan so that it cooks evenly. Continue to fold and turn until the coconut is a light, toasty brown and your kitchen smells incredible, 6 to 8 minutes (the amount of time will vary depending upon the sugar content of the coconut). Watch the pan attentively to prevent burning, then remove coconut immediately to a plate once ready. Let cool.
To make the marshmallow cream topping: Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl (TIP: put the bowl and beaters in your freezer or refrigerator first; the colder they are, the fluffier the cream.) Begin beating on low speed, then slowly increase the speed to high, beating just until soft peaks form. The whipped cream will be thickened slightly but will not stand up on its own when you dip a beater into it. Add the marshmallow creme and vanilla. Beat on high speed, scraping down the sides of the mixer a few times, until a loose whipped cream forms. The cream should be harder than soft peaks but not as stiff as hard peaks.
Serve the pie at room temperature, with the marshmallow whipped cream dolloped generously on top, sprinkled with toasted coconut as desired.
TO STORE: Gently cover your pie and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.