I won't bore you with all the creative things I did with turkey and ham leftovers this week. You've probably had plenty and are well rested from all that tryptophan. Instead, I'd like to focus on that impending doom known as the office potluck.
Some of us will not suffer through this season's round of crock pot meatballs, box-made brownies or eight kinds of soda (because there are always at least eight people who think they're doing us all a huge favor by bringing soda). But some of us will. Some of us will sit in a conference room and think to ourselves, “Why did I make 3 pounds of home made tortellini, in my grandmothers secret sauce, only to sit here amongst work friends and watch it get gobbled up, while I eat a turkey sub that somebody picked up on the way to work?”
So take my advice, and don't slave over a hot stove, with fresh pasta dough, until the wee hours of the night. Don't spend hours stirring marinara. And whatever you do, do not haul your crock pot the two miles you walk to work each morning. Keep it simple. Make white potato pie.
The recipe originates from somewhere in the Delaware/Maryland area. My grandfather (who's been making this pie for 70 years) claims it's a poor man's dessert, created by those who could afford few resources. As a child, it was never presented as such, and we devoured it in spite of peanut butter pies, chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie. It's that good.
It's also a simple dish that uses ingredients you may already have at home. And if you must take that trip to the grocery store, you won't spend a lot on the things you need.
So, in the spirit of my broke ancestors and the potlucks all over the DC area, I give you white potato pie, or as we refer to it in my childhood home...
Pop Pop's Potato Pie
2 c. light cream
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 nine inch unbaked pie shells
Preheat oven to 350. Separate egg yolks from whites. Reserve yolks. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with mixer until stiff peaks form. Place this bowl in the refrigerator.
In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks.Stir in cream, mashed potatoes, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat until smooth. Take the bowl of stiffened egg whites and fold into the mixture. Lumps are ok- this is to form a chiffon texture throughout the pie. Pour the mixture into the 2 pie shells, and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
Wrap the edges of the pie with tin foil, covering the rim of the crust. Place pies on the center rack of your oven, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove pies from oven, remove tin foil, and place pies back in the oven, cooking another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is done.
Allow the pies to cool before serving.