This recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Pie is a wonderful alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie often served at Thanksgiving. The recipe is simple and straightforward but comes with tips that make all the difference in achieving that perfect, custardy filling and flaky crust. Here are some noteworthy points:
Why It Works:
- Quality of Ingredients: Starting with freshly baked or steamed sweet potatoes as opposed to canned ensures that the pie has a fresh, rich flavor.
- Sweetness and Spice: The blend of dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves gives the pie a complex, warm flavor profile.
- Texture: The use of heavy cream and extra egg yolk contributes to the creamy, custard-like texture.
- No Pre-Baking Required: Since you don’t need to pre-bake the crust, it simplifies the baking process while still yielding a delicious result.
- Flexibility: The recipe allows you to use either store-bought or homemade pie crust, and even offers a substitute for heavy cream if you don’t have it.
Here’s the recipe for a delicious Southern Sweet Potato Pie:
- Sweet Potatoes: Baked or steamed, for a rich flavor.
- Sugar: Dark brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Butter: Softened and slightly melted.
- Heavy Cream: Provides creaminess to the filling.
- Eggs: Two large eggs plus one extra egg yolk.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract for flavor.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Pie Crust: Store-bought or homemade, for the crust.
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Prepare and bake the sweet potatoes: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and drizzle with oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Puree: Allow the sweet potatoes to cool, peel away the skin, and process the flesh in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Reduce the oven temperature: Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare the pie filling: Measure 2 cups of the pureed sweet potato and add brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, heavy cream, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ground cloves. Mix until well incorporated.
- Prepare the pie crust: Spray a 9-inch pie pan with non-stick spray. Gently press the premade pie dough into the pan and crimp the edges. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Bake: Pour the pie filling into the crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle.
- Cool and serve: Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Tips and Variations:
- Fresh vs. Canned Sweet Potatoes: If you’re in a time crunch, you could use canned sweet potatoes, although fresh is recommended.
- Spice It Up: Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference; a little cardamom or allspice could also be a wonderful addition.
- Make Ahead: The pie tastes even better after a day or two, making it an excellent candidate for prepping ahead of holiday chaos.
- Serve Chilled or Warm: The pie can be served either chilled or rewarmed in the oven, offering flexibility in your serving options.
Storage and Reheating:
- Short-term: Keep it wrapped in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: The pie can be frozen for up to a month. While it may last longer, the texture and flavor could degrade.
- Thawing and Reheating: It’s easy to thaw and reheat the pie, making it convenient for holiday planning or unexpected guests.
Serve this pie with whipped cream or perhaps a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re looking for drink pairings, a cup of hot spiced cider or a glass of dessert wine like Sauternes could complement the sweet and spicy flavors of the pie nicely.
All in all, this Southern Sweet Potato Pie recipe is a comforting, crowd-pleasing dessert perfect for fall and winter celebrations, or just because pie is indeed appropriate at any time of the year!