Sweet potato pie is a luscious and spiced Southern dessert, featuring a smooth, vibrant orange filling made from roasted sweet potatoes, sugar, and a blend of warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
With its flaky pastry crust and rich, custard-like interior, sweet potato pie is a soul-warming treat that embodies the comforts of homemade Southern cooking.
Tips for Making Sweet Potato Pie
Making sweet potato pie is a delightful process, but like any baking endeavor, a few tips can help ensure your pie turns out perfectly. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind when making sweet potato pie:
Select the Right Sweet Potatoes: Choose fresh sweet potatoes that are firm, unblemished, and free of soft spots. The best varieties for pie are often labeled “yam” or “sweet potato” at the store.
Roast, Don’t Boil: Roasting sweet potatoes in the oven brings out their natural sweetness and flavor. Baking them at around 350°F (175°C) until they’re soft to the touch is preferable to boiling, as it prevents excess moisture.
Thoroughly Mash the Sweet Potatoes: Mash the roasted sweet potatoes until they are completely smooth, ensuring no lumps in the filling.
Don’t Overmix: Be careful not to overmix the filling. Overmixing can lead to a denser texture in the finished pie.
Chill Before Serving: Sweet potato pie is often best when served slightly chilled. Refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight before serving.
Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: Top your slices with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra layer of indulgence.
Sweet Potato Pie
For the Pie Crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the Sweet Potato Filling:
- 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prepare the Pie Crust:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add the cold, cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gradually add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. You may not need all the water.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
3. Prepare the Sweet Potatoes:
- Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes. Pierce them with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Let them cool, then peel and mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl. You should have 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes.
4. Roll Out the Pie Crust:
- On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie dish, and trim any excess dough from the edges.
5. Prepare the Filling:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, whole milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt.
- Mix until all the ingredients are well combined and the filling is smooth.
6. Assemble the Pie:
- Pour the sweet potato filling into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top.
7. Bake the Pie:
- Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is set. You can use a toothpick or knife to check the center; it should come out clean when the pie is done.
8. Cool and Serve:
- Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Sweet potato pie is a classic Southern dessert known for its rich, creamy filling, infused with the natural sweetness and earthy flavors of sweet potatoes, complemented by a harmonious blend of warm spices. Served in a flaky, golden pie crust, a slice of sweet potato pie offers a delightful balance of comforting familiarity and sweet indulgence.