Sweet Potato Pie is a classic, it reminds me of home and my Auntie. Growing up, I only had one Auntie, my mother’s older sister. She, in many ways, was the OG Side Gig/Hustler. After serving in the Air Force, she drove taxis from the airport, there was a Mary Kay phase, and an AmWay phase. But the hustle that she was most known for was filing people’s taxes.
She did everyone’s taxes in the neighborhood, mine included until I was almost 30. At Thanksgiving she would make what felt like a million Sweet Potato pies. People would drop in all day on Thanksgiving to pick up their pie, and she’d remind them that tax season was around the corner. If there was ever a marketing strategy, this was it.
My Auntie taught me how to make sweet potato pie, but this is not her recipe. First, she didn’t make the pie crusts, she bought the frozen pie crusts from the store, because she didn’t have the time and second this pie doesn’t include copious amounts of brandy. And besides, I don’t know y’all like that to be giving away family secrets.
Tips and Tricks:
After a couple of tries I fell into the secret of making a damn good Sweet Potato Pie: I ran out of time. I had the potatoes roasted and cooled and started to mix in the seasoning, but had to go do something else. I put the seasoned sweet potato puree into a bowl with a lid and refrigerated it until the next day. The result is the most flavorful sweet potato pie of my life. Essentially, I marinated my sweet potatoes and it was the best thing that I’ve ever done.
Make sure that the pie crust is frozen. If you’re making a homemade pie crust, build in time for this step, because it’s the best way to make sure that your pie crust doesn’t shrink and holds its shape. If you don’t have time for all of that, just buy a frozen crust. Seriously. Simplify your life.
- This is not my Auntie’s recipe. First, she didn’t make the pie crusts, she bought the frozen pie crusts from the store, because she didn’t have the time and second this pie doesn’t include copious amounts of brandy. And besides, I don’t know y’all like that to be giving away family secrets.
- Sweet Potato Pie needs to be refrigerated because of the eggs in the filling. The pie can sit on the counter to cool, but long-term it needs to be refrigerated.
- A cold slice of Sweet Potato Pie with a cup of coffee remains the best breakfast ever.
Sweet Potato Pie
A classic sweet potato pie.
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 9 inch pie crust frozen
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. With a fork, dock the sweet potatoes several times to let steam escape while baking. Set the sweet potatoes on the cookie sheet and bake until the potatoes are soft to the touch. The time will vary based on the size of the potato, anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour and a half.
Once the potatoes are done and cool enough to handle, remove the skins and put the sweet potatoes into a food processor, followed by the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Process until the potatoes are smooth.
Optional, but highly recommended step: Scrape the ‘seasoned’ potatoes into a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight. This rest time allows the spices to marinate, which creates a dynamic filling.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF and blind bake the crust. Click here for instructions on how to blind bake. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes longer. Let the crust cool completely on the cookie sheet.
Transfer the sweet potatoes into a large bowl stir in the butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk until smooth. Now is the time to check the seasoning– does the pie need more sugar or spices? If yes, add them now. If not, whisk in the eggs until fully incorporated.
Pour the pie filling into the cooled pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425ºF, then turn the oven down to 350ºBake until the top is golden brown and set. 40 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: Sweet Potato Pies should be refrigerated and makes an excellent breakfast with a cup of coffee.