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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
In a medium saucepan melt butter; stir in 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Add crushed crackers and pecans; toss to mix well. Spread in a 9-inch pie plate; press evenly onto bottom and up the sides. Chill about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. For filling, in a large bowl stir together sweet potatoes, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Add whole eggs; beat lightly with a fork just until combined. Gradually stir in half-and-half (or cream) until well combined.
Place the graham cracker crust on the oven rack. Pour filling into pie shell. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover edge of pie. Bake pie 20 to 25 minutes or until the a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Meanwhile, allow 3 egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (tips stand straight) and sugar dissolves (rub a small amount between two fingers; it should feel completely smooth).
Immediately spread meringue over hot pie filling, carefully sealing to edge of crust to prevent shrinkage. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill for 3 to 6 hours before serving.