Sweet Potato Pie
(American, Southern-Soul sweet potato open-faced tart)
Makes 1 pie for 6 to 8 servings
- Pie crust, unbaked -- 1 (9-inch)
- Sweet potatoes -- 1 1/2 pounds (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
- Brown sugar -- 1 cup
- Cinnamon -- 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Nutmeg -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Eggs, beaten -- 3
- Evaporated milk -- 1 (5-ounce) can
- Butter, melted -- 4 tablespoons
- Vanilla -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt -- a pinch
- Prepare a single pie crust according to this recipe, or use your favorite recipe. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the crust and crimp the edges. Keep refrigerated until you have prepared the remaining ingredients. For a shortcut, use a store-bought crust.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Add the whole sweet potatoes to a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high flame, then reduce heat and boil, uncovered, until a sharp knife easily pierces the potatoes, anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and set aside to cool. When the potatoes have cooled, peel off and discard the skins. Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes until they are fairly smooth, another minute or so.
- Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the bowl of an electric mixer along with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Next add the eggs, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla and salt, and continue to beat until smooth and fairly loose.
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator, and pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie pan. Set the pie on a baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for at least and hour before cutting into slices.
- Serve with whipped cream. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Sweet Potato Pie Notes and Variations
- Sweet Potato Pecan Pie: Try this for a satisfying combo of two Southern pie favorites. After the pie is done baking and has cooled, heat 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of chopped pecans in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour over the top of the pie and spread gently to cover. Let cool until hardened.
- There is no one correct way to make sweet potato pie. You can vary the ratios of sweet potatoes to sugar, eggs and milk to your taste to make a denser or lighter pie.
- You can also cooked the sweet potatoes in a microwave. Poke them all over with a fork, then microwave on high for
- Add more or less brown sugar to your liking. Use plain white sugar if you prefer.
- Many recipes substitute whipping cream or regular milk for the evaporated milk.
- Recipes often omit the butter, but it does add a velvety texture to the filling. Some cooks insist that you need a full stick of butter per pie.
- Spices and Flavoring: Other spices to flavor your pie include ground ginger, ground cloves or ground cardamom. Give it a boozy kick with a shot of bourbon.
- Other Toppings: A Northern variation (considered a bastardization by Southerners) has baby marshmallows on the top. There are also versions with meringue topping.