Southern Sweet Potato Pie
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Southern Sweet Potato Pie is creamy, lightly spiced with just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and so easy to make! Similar to pumpkin but with a more delicate flavor, this one is a Southern family favorite!
Lots of people will claim to be either sweet potato pie lovers or pumpkin pie lovers. I love both! Along with pecan pie. And chocolate pie. Ok, just PIE.
Listen, I’m not biased when I tell you that my mother makes the best sweet potato pie. Better than the famous Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie!
Of course, when I called Mama to ask for her recipe she said, “Well, I don’t really measure anything I just mix it up.” So I had to run through her estimates a couple of times to come up with an actual version of the recipe to share.
This Southern Sweet Potato Pie recipe hits everything you wantit’s not too sweet and not too custardy, but just the right mix of sweet potatoes, sugar, butter and egg to meld into a creamy, perfect blend for pie.
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How To Store And Freeze
- To Store. Gently cover your pie, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.
- To Freeze. Tightly wrap your cooked and cooled pie in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store in a freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Let the pie thaw for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Tips For The Best Sweet Potato Pie
- Roast the Potatoes: If youre using fresh sweet potatoes, I highly recommend roasting them over boiling them. This will limit the amount of water in the pie and give it a better consistency. Roasting your sweet potatoes also enhances the flavor of your pie!
- Dont Over Bake Your Pie Crust: If your pie crust is browning quicker than youd like it to, you can cover it with foil or use a pie shield to slow down the browning process.
- Dont Over Bake Your Pie Either: Once your pie is at the 55-minute mark, start checking it for doneness. If you over bake your pie, it may crack.
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How To Make Sweet Potato Pie
You can split the preparation of this pie over a couple days by roasting your potatoes in advance. Just store them in the fridge until youre ready to proceed with making the rest of this pie.
Sweet Potato Table Decoration
When you gather sweet potatoes for a Southern sweet potato pie recipe, set one aside to make a living table decoration and a topic of conversation.
“Table decoration is my hobby,” says a writer in the Christian Science Monitor. “I have tried all kinds of roots and seeds in a dish of stones and water and find that some are very much prettier than others.
“One of the most attractive centerpieces is a growing horseradish root. Split the roots so the rootlets can run out in a low dish, filled with small stones and water.
“No care is required except to maintain fresh water covering only about half the roots and the picking of wilted leaves. These roots will last three or four months before decay.
“Carrot tops make an artistic fernery. I have mixed carrots and horseradish roots, making a fancy table decoration.
“Not long ago, I placed two small sweet potatoes in a plain, deep pottery dish and behold! In a few weeks, I had a beautiful, trailing vine that was admired by all who looked at the glossy green leaves.” Christian Science Monitor c.1920
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Ingredients For Sweet Potato Pie
My recipe includes some secret ingredients that really make it special!
- Sweet potatoes. This recipe uses almost 2 cups mashed sweet potato. If you decided to use canned sweet potato, use that same amount and be sure to drain any liquid from the can.
- Butter. Use unsalted butter, so you control the salt
- Brown sugar. You can use light or dark, but I typically use dark because I love the delicious, rich flavor.
- Evaporated milk. Adds more of a creamy consistency than regular milk.
- Eggs. Youll need 2 eggs to give the filling the perfect texture.
- Flour. A small amount of flour acts as a thickening agent in the filling.
- Vanilla. A must for a boost of flavor!
- Lemon extract. Sounds a little strange for a fall-flavored pie, but a small amount actually enhances the flavors of the sweet potato.
- Spices. The perfect blend of warm spices give this pie that cozy, fall flavor. We use cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
- Salt. Really brings out the sweet potato flavor!
Sweet Potato Pie Vs Pumpkin Pie
Sweet potato or pumpkin? Thats an ongoing debate thats probably rooted more in culture and upbringing than anything it comes down to where youre from and what you grew up with. But those on the side of of sweet potato insist that the flavor is much richer than pumpkin and I agree. Think about it: Plain pumpkin on its own isnt nearly as flavorful as eating a sweet potato, and that translates over into pie as well.
Beyond having a richer flavor than pumpkin, sweet potato is also more nutritious. It has more vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. And even though were talking about a sugary dessert, its still nice to know it has some redeeming qualities, right? If it helps curb some of the guilt Im in!
Another plus for sweet potato pie is the convenience factor. Using canned pumpkin or canned sweet potatoes is certainly an option, but nothing beats fresh. And grabbing a couple of sweet potatoes and throwing them in the oven is far more convenient than buying a whole pumpkin, digging out the seeds and then baking it. Plus sweet potatoes are available year round.
To make this sweet potato pie extra delicious were adding a special ingredient: Sour cream. This old-fashioned trick helps round out the flavors and makes for an especially rich and velvety-smooth texture. Youre gonna love it!
Lets get started!
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The Secret To Baking Sweet Potato Pie
Never leave a sweet potato pie in the oven until it looks totally done. The center of the pie should always jiggle a bit, so the pie will finish baking as it cools.
Old South Sweet Potato Custard Pie
Boil tender two large or four medium sweet potatoes, peel, free of strings, and mash fine. Add to the pulp half a pound of creamed butter, mix well, then add gradually five cups sugar, alternately with five whole eggs. Beat smooth.
Add the juice of three lemons, a tablespoonful lemon essence, and a scant pint of very rich milk. Use less milk if the potatoes are very soft. Beat smooth and pour into pie pans lined with good crust. Bake brown in a fairly quick oven , but do not over bake.
Lest the proportion of sugar may seem excessive, let it be said here that sweet potatoes require more sugar for sweetening in pies than anything save crabapples or green gooseberries.
Covered Sweet Potato Pie
Line a deep pie pan with short crust rolled a quarter-inch thick, fill it with raw sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin.
Add to them, for a pan of medium size, three cups sugar, a cup of butter, cut in bits, mace, cloves and nutmeg to taste, half a cup of cold water and half a cup good whiskey or sherry.
Cover with a crust an eighth-inch thick, prick well, also cut a tiny cross in the middle, and bake in a hot, but not scorching oven , three-quarters of an hour maybe a full hour if the pan is large.
Why Did My Sweet Potato Pie Crack
There are a few reasons why your pie may crack. Here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent it from happening. However, if it does crack, you can easily cover it up with some whipped cream and your pie will still look and taste perfect!
- Over Baking: Over baking a pie is the most common cause of cracking. Be sure to remove your pie from the oven once a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cooking Prematurely: Its important that your oven is at 350°F when you put in your pie. If its still too hot from roasting the potatoes or not fully preheated, itll disrupt the baking process and may cause cracking.
- Placement in the Oven: Its generally a good idea to cook this pie on a lower rack in your oven. This is because the oven tends to be hotter at the top. However, everyones oven is different, so cook your pie according to what works best for your setup.
- Total Time:1 hour 55 minutes
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What Are The Ingredients For A Sweet Potato Pie
Heres what youll need to bake a delicious pie for your holiday meals : Sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, evaporated milk and a frozen pie crust.
I use store bought pie crust and have no shame in doing so. Theyre delicious and a big time saver when youre super busy preparing a big meal.
Foolproof Oil Pie Crust Recipe
For this pie recipe Im using an oil pie crust that comes from a VERY old Pillsbury cookbook. Its the one my grandma most often used and now my mom uses. Its made with oil, instead of butter or shortening, yet it is the flakiest pie crust ever. After tasting this pie, my husband actually commented on the crust and mentioned that he liked it better than most pie crusts because it was soft and flaky, not as hard as a normal pie crust. This crust is so tender that it almost just melts in your mouth when you eat it.
My favorite thing about using an all-oil pie crust is how super simple it is to make. Its only 5 ingredients, you dont need a food processor or pastry cutter, and there is no chilling required. You just mix the ingredients and pat the crust into the pie plate. In less than 5 minutes, you have pie crust that is ready to be filled and baked.
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Making Sweet Potato Pie Filling:
Then just pour the batter into your prepared, unbaked pie shell.
Bake according to the instructions in the recipe card below. Then allow the pie to cool on a wire rack.
Once your pie has cooled, I recommend chilling it overnight in the refrigerator before slicing into it. This is one pie that just gets better and better the next day and the day after that.
Once its chilled, you can slice it, add a dollop of whipped cream, and youre all set to enjoy every bite, along with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. Nothing like coffee to bring all the flavors full circle!
Cocktails That Taste Like Fall
Apple is the fruit of fall so why not infuse it into a cocktail?! Fall recipes are filled with warmth and spice and these cocktails are no different. Weve rounded up 10 apple-inspired cocktails to try this fall. When youre sitting on the porch with a cozy sweater, relaxing by the first fire of the
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To Decorate The Roasted Sweet Potato Pie
This pie is delicious as it is, but why not take it to the very next level by decorating it with some cream? Its silkiness adds a whole new world for texture and flavour.
Now, if you have a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, you can make sure pretty designs, making it even more amazing than it already is. But otherwise, dont trouble yourself, even if you just apply a layer of cream, that should still do.
I used double/ heavy cream, but whipping cream would be even better, its up to you what you have, and what you like, no need to go put of your way decorating it.
And thats my yummy crummy sweet potato pie, do give it try, you will love it!
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Tips For The Perfect Sweet Potato Pie
- Use baked sweet potatoes instead of boiled sweet potatoes for a richer, more concentrated flavor.
- Evaporated milk has a slightly caramelized flavor that is much preferred to using regular milk or cream.
- Cover crust edges with a pie ring or with foil to prevent over-browning. Check the baking pie after 30 minutes of baking to ensure the crust is not getting too brown, and if it is, cover it.
- If you prefer a cold sweet potato pie , allow the pie to cool completely and store in the fridge for about 2-4 hours or overnight. The flavors are even better the next day!
- Make ahead. This pie is the perfect make ahead dessert, freeing precious oven and counter space on Thanksgiving! Make the pie up to one day before serving and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Frozen pie shell or another favorite homemade pie crust may be used instead of the one listed in this recipe.