Have you ever dreamed of pie? Seriously, I ask you this question because I am a little obsessed with pie, whether it be filled with apples, cherries, pecans, banana cream or sweet potatoes. I don’t really think I’ve ever turned a piece of pie down. Come on, this is America. We are known for great pies.
And who could forget the great Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie rage last November, when singer James Wright posted a video of himself eating a slice of noted singer and songwriter Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie from Wal-Mart. There was a time last year when Wal-Mart was frantically searching for 2 million pounds of sweet potatoes to even begin to fill orders.
Patti LaBelle also sells her signature peach, apple and berry cobblers, along with a few cakes and breads.
And so, this chef himself went and purchased a Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie, and even after all the hype, agreed with James Wright that it was one of the best sweet potato pies I have ever eaten. Let the record show that it was even on my 2015 Thanksgiving table.
Now, just in time for the holidays again, LaBelle is introducing a limited-edition Premium Sweet Potato Pecan Pie. This family-sized pie is available for the Christmas season only and is hitting Wal-Mart stores across the country this week.
According to a press release sent by Wal-Mart, “It’s made with the perfect blend of spices, butter and sweet potatoes — all topped with pecans.” Two inches larger than her original sweet potato pie and with twice the flavor, thanks to the pecans.
Pecans and sweet potato pie, another match made in culinary pie heaven! Think about it, the taste of those delicious sweet potatoes and a topping of Southern pecans. Does it get any better?
Just last week, Wal-Mart sliced the data on its most popular holiday pie flavors by state. And while sweet potato reigns supreme, pecan lovers can rejoice in this good news: it’s the perfect combination of two holiday classics.
I did a little research on the history of sweet potato pie, and according to blackamericaweb.com, “During the sixteenth century, Brits from Europe brought the tradition of making pumpkin pies for dessert to West Africa. The tradition was soon brought to America during slavery, where the African slaves transformed the dessert into something sweeter using yams, then sweet potatoes.”
And so, this chef, once again, had to go out and purchase another Patti LaBelle pie, this time her Premium Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.
And the verdict: I’m expecting another hit, this one in the kitchen again, by Patti LaBelle. I absolutely loved the pie, baked with real sweet potatoes, butter and pecans. The pecans were the perfect topping indeed. The crust was flaky and pie was dense with a rich deep color, the spice just right and the texture … oh, so smooth.
I still have some pie left right now, so I think I’ll warm it and top with a little fresh whipped cream. Ahhh … pie heaven.
Thank you Patti (we’re on a first name basis now). I’m not only a loyal fan of your music but now of your pies. I can only imagine what you will think of next. You definitely have another hit here.
Merry Christmas fellow pie lovers. Not go out and get one of these pies ASAP! I think it will just make for the Christmas!
Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s runs his family’s 62-year-old restaurant with his brother. Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He is host to many famous chefs on his weekly radio show “Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen” on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM. He also sells dressings and sauces.