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Ask Francine - Low Fat Sweet Potato Pie?

 
SweetPotatoPie
Would you think it's possible to make a good fried sweet potato pie at home that is not loaded with saturated fat?

Well, I must admit, that's a darn good question. I was asked some years back about Southern cooking and why we enjoy so many things that are fried. My answer was, "Because we are going to eat what we want and die happy."

In the time since that quote, I've tried to moderate my fried food eating habits, a bit at least. I've found an easy way to fix fried squash in the oven, which is even better than in a skillet, and I've started baking my hand-cut French fries, too. But, for your question, I thought I needed to consult with someone with a real food background.

So, Sheri Castle, author of the New Southern Garden Cookbook, shared some suggestions and observations with me. She says that it's going to be really tough to accomplish if you want the same taste experience as the real thing. You're faced with a hard choice – if you   use shortening, you save on saturated fat, but hit the jackpot on trans fat. Lard will be high in fat, but the fats it contains are a bit healthier.

She said that in the limited baking she has done without lard, butter, etc., she's used a vegan butter substitute called Earth Balance (sticks, not the tub variety). You may be able to find it at Earth Fare or a larger Harris Teeter. This could be used in the crust and in the pan for frying.

It's always hard, when you are making something like this – my Granny's fried apple pies were some of the best things you could ever put in your mouth, but if I had to bet, they weren't the healthiest. But hey, you have to splurge every once in a while. I'm hoping this helps some, and thanks for your question.

Francine