My grandmother would always tell me about how her dad use to sell these amazing sweet potato pies but never called them sweet potato pies. He called them niggas in a blanket. (I’ll pause here to let the shock wear off.)
I’m still trying to find out why sweet potato pies had to be called niggas in the blanket. My grandmother said she’s not sure either but that’s what her dad called them, that’s what she calls them and that’s what I’m going to call them.
Now, I know outside of the black community calling these pies by my great-grandfathers name can cause a disturbance in open dialogue so let’s just stick with fried sweet potato pie. Deal?
Sweet potato pie is something that is dominant in the south, it’s just not Thanksgiving if there’s no sweet potato pie, right?
I learned the hard way that if you leave the south you’ll only find pumpkin pie.
I was in Los Angeles looking for some sweet potato pie that a client requested on the fly (immediately) only to go to 4 stores and find only pumpkin pie. Of course, if I had the time I could have made one but he did not get sweet potato pie that day.
There are many different flavor pairings you can use to make your sweet potato pie stand out from the rest but the go-to spices are cinnamon and nutmeg. It was not until recently when I was in the kitchen with my grandmother that I heard the two spices cancel out each other.
My response was, ” I ain’t never heard nothing like that.”
My grandmother said, “Well put them both in there damn it, I don’t give a damn.”
Hence why my nickname for my grandmother is Hurricane.
After we finished adjusting the sweet potato filling she said “That’s it! The flavors work.”
I responded with “so much for cinnamon and nutmeg canceling out each other.”
My grandmother said, “don’t make me hurt you, boy.”
I hope you enjoy these pies because it wasn’t until last week that I had one for the first time. No one in my family cared enough to ever learn the recipe to go with their fond memories of this amazing pie. I made sure to get my grandmother in the kitchen to show me how to make these amazing sweet potato pies (niggas in the blanket).
Here’s a link to some of other food bloggers who are participating in a virtual potluck:
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Beyond The Bayou Food Blog | Creole Seafood Courtbouillon
Brandi’s Diary | Better than Jiffy Cornbread from Scratch
Butter Be Ready | Southern Style Mac and Cheese
Chef Kenneth | Fried Sweet Potato Hand Pie
Chocolate For Basil | Pilau and Kachumbari (Spiced Rice with Pico)
Cooks with Soul | Braised Short Rib Meatloaf
D.M.R. Fine Foods | Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Maple Glaze
Dash of Jazz | Nigerian Jollof Rice
Domestic Dee | Fried Peach Pies
Eat.Drink.Frolic. | Olive Oil Braised Collard Greens
Food Fidelity | Mofongo Relleno (Mashed Plantains with Garlic Shrimp)
Food is Love Made Edible | Buttermilk Biscuits with Fried Chicken and Tabasco Honey
High Heels and Good Meals | Crawfish Etouffee
HomeMadeZagat | Shrimp with Spicy Curry Cream Sauce
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Marisa Moore Nutrition | Bourbon Peach Glazed Salmon
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Raised on Ramen | Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts
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Simply LaKita | Blackberry Cobbler
The Hungry Hutch | Orange Bundt Cake with Vanilla Glaze
The Kitchenista Diaries | Smothered Turkey Wings
The Seasoning Bottle | Honey Turmeric Skillet Chicken
Sweet Potato Pie
- Sweet Potato filling:
- 1 ½ lbs. sweet potato peeled, chopped
- ¼ cups + 1 tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
- ¼ cup shorting
- pinch salt
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 4 cups canola oil
- powder sugar garnish
- In a pot add sweet potatoes and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Drain and place in a bowl add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Sit to the side to cool.
- In a bowl mix flour and shortening together until cornmeal texture has formed. Add milk and mix until dough is formed.
- Roll out dough to 1/8 inch on a floured surface and with a large biscuit cutter cut out 8 circles.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cooled filling to each pie circle. Fold dough over and crimp with a fork, sit on a foiled lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pie circles.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry four pies at time for 45 seconds per side for even browning.
- Keep pies warm in a 200-degree oven while you fry the remaining pies. Dust with generous amount of powdered sugar. Serve hot and enjoy.