Think a sweet potato pie is the same as pumpkin, so why bother trying it? Think again! This Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe is a Southern Favorite and staple at holiday supper tables all over the South with good reason.
Tips for How to make this traditional sweet potato pie recipe
So, you're looking to rival Patti LaBelle's sweet potato pie? Check out these tips and tricks to make sure you're making the best version of this pie you can:
- use fresh sweet potatoes if you can. They'll give you the best flavor with a lovely natural sweetness
- Don't omit the flour! For some reason people always want to ... just don't!
- Bake the pie in a pie dish sitting on a cookie sheet to help it bake more evenly.
- If your crust starts to brown, tent it with foil until the rest of the pie catches up
What's the difference between sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie?
They're both orange. They both have crust. They both are comfort-food-ily delicious. But a sweet potato pie has a different texture than a pumpkin pie. Traditional pumpkin pie is closer to a custard - a little softer and creamier. Traditional sweet potato pie is a stiffer pie with a more firm, drier texture and generally less spiced than a pumpkin pie.
What is in sweet potato pie filling?
Ahhhh but what is in that pie filling?
- sweet potatoes
- flour ( this is the magic ingredient to give the pie a slightly drier texture - in a good way )
- brown sugar
- lemon ( brings out the flavor of the sweet potato without adding a lemony flavor )
- half and half ( really any full fat dairy will work! )
- vanilla or bourbon
Can I use canned sweet potatoes or yams?
Look, it's not my preference. BUT - I know things at the grocery store can get weird these days and sometimes it's hard to find exactly what you are looking for. Plus, I'm a big believer in flexibility and making do.
So can you use canned sweet potatoes or yams? YES. It won't be quite as delicious, but it will still be good! Just make sure you are draining them well and aren't using the kind that have already been sweetened. Or if you are using that kind, adjust the sugar down or leave it out entirely in the recipe.
What's the easiest way to make a sweet potato?
I have an entire post about this here: How to Microwave a Sweet Potato. TL;DR is that microwaving is the easiest and BEST way to cook a sweet potato for sweet potato pie. Boiling adds water and baking is really good but takes FOREVER.
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Sweet Potato Pie
- 1 deep-dish pie crust
- 8 Tablespoons butter softened ( 1 stick / ½ cup butter )
- 2 cups cooked peeled, mashed sweet potato ( about 1 lb sweet potatoes )
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup half and half can sub whole milk, heavy cream, or evaporated milk if necessary
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract OR bourbon
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
For the bourbon whipped cream and topping:
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon bourbon
- 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar or powdered sugar
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts optional
- Cream together butter, sweet potato, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining pie ingredients ( cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, half and half, and extract).
- Pour into unbaked 9" deep-dish pie crust. Bake on a sheet pan at 350 for 1 hour 15 min.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream, bourbon, and sugar together until it starts to stiffen. Pile on top of the cooled sweet potato pie, and crumble walnuts on top.