Southern Sweet Potato Pie

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This sweet potato pie recipe has a buttery and flaky pie crust, and the pie filling is silky smooth and bursting with warm spice flavor!

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Making black folks sweet potato pie is easier than you might think. In fact, this recipe has been passed down but slightly modified to bring more sweet potato flavor than ever. You’ll be able to make the perfect one every time!

Now, why mention black folks’ sweet potato pie? I say that for one reason, 99.99% of southern recipes were prepared by slaves and passed down to both sides of the family. The family that owned the slaves (southern) and the enslaved (soul food). With that being said, let’s get ready to jump into the kitchen and bake a dessert that always brings the family together regardless of heritage.

Key Ingredients

Here’s a list of sweet potato pie ingredients you’ll need. When baking sweet potato pie, it’s important to keep in mind to use the best ingredients to yield the best results.

Sweet Potato

I’ll share something with you that will drastically improve the quality of your sweet potato pie for generations. That’s normally overlooked but super important. Never buy fresh sweet potatoes with long strings hanging from them. This is a sign of an old sweet potato. Baked sweet potatoes bring out the most flavor than boiled sweet potatoes.

Unsalted Butter

The butter adds a richness and flavor that is unmistakable in this type of pie.

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Light Brown Sugar

I’m usually a fan of dark brown sugar, but I find that it overpowers the warm spices and sweet potatoes so use light brown sugar to complement the natural sweetness of cooked sweet potatoes.

Warm Spices

If you don’t have ground cinnamon and nutmeg, it isn’t an authentic southern sweet potato pie. I discovered, however, that the added warm tone provided by ground ginger is like having the greatest background singers. This blend is way better than any pumpkin pie spice.

Evaporated Milk

This is a key southern sweet potato pie ingredient. Sure, you can use any milk or non-dairy milk here, but the depth of flavor that evaporated milk provides is noticeable. Avoid fat-free evaporated milk, we want all the flavor in this pie.

Eggs

Sweet potato pie has a smooth, silky texture thanks to the eggs, which bind the sweet potato with the rest of the ingredients.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract adds a delicious flavor that complements the sweet potatoes well.

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How to Make the Best Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Making a sweet potato pie recipe is pretty straightforward. I’ve included all of the steps needed to consistently make a delicious and flavorful sweet potato pie.

Step 1: Make the pie crust. Using a food processor saves a lot of time. Use cold tap water and flatten the dough before wrapping it and placing in the fridge. Roll the dough out, place in a pie pan, and evenly place pierce the pie crust with a fork. This releases steam, so the crust doesn’t bubble up.

Step 2: While the pie chills in the fridge, cook your sweet potatoes. I like to bake my sweet potatoes. The natural sugars comes out and the maple flavors come oozing out (literally). It takes about an hour but I promise you the end results is worth it. Once the sweet potatoes are done baking, add the sweet potato flesh to a mixing bowl with the butter and mix until smooth.

Step 3: I always recommend blending the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and ground ginger. This will ensure everything gets evenly blended. Add it to the sweet potatoes and mix for a little bit. Mix in eggs until blended. Add vanilla extract and evaporated milk.

Step 4: Pour the sweet potato pie filling into pie shell and bake until the pie is firm. Let the pie cool for 1 hour before serving. I like to serve mine with some whipped cream.

You might want to make your own pie that no one else knows about, so you don’t have to share. You’ve been warned.

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Recipe Tips & Tricks

These tips will guarantee that when you make sweet potato pie, it’s delicious and welcoming to even the most particular eater.

  • Double the recipe to make two sweet potato pies.
  • Pick a deep 9-inch or 10-inch pie pan. This will give you enough room to, fit all the sweet potato filling in one pan.
  • Feel free to use a pre-made frozen store-bought pie crust to save time.
  • If you do not have a food processor to make the pie crust, blend the shortening and butter into the flour by hand, fork, or with a pastry cutter.
  • A crucial element to any homemade pie crust is using cold butter and cold water. In fact, every recipe will tell you to refrigerate the dough for 40 minutes. This is because the cold butter creates a flakier crust.
  • Always add salt when you bake; a little salt goes a long way to bring out the sweetness in all the ingredients.
  • Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes on each side to save time.
  • Feel free to use canned sweet potatoes if you’re in a real pinch for time. Just know that you’ll be sacrificing tons of flavor.
  • I always bake my sweet potatoes a month in advance when preparing for any holiday feast, and I’ll keep the flesh in the freezer. Then, I thaw it out in the fridge24-48 hours before baking my pies.
  • You can also make the sweet potato pie filling one month in advance before making the pie.
  • You don’t have to use mashed sweet potatoes because scooping to measure them and using a hand mixer it’ll break the sweet potato down.
  • Feel free to use dark brown sugar or white granulated sugar as a swap for the light brown sugar.
  • Try adding some brown sugar as a sub for powdered sugar or white sugar for a brown sugar whipped cream.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, use freshly grated nutmeg. You can do the same with for cinnamon if you don’t want to use ground cinnamon.
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FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions about making sweet potato pie.

Is sweet potato pie made from yams?

No, sweet potato pie is not made from yams. It is made from sweet potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are actually two different vegetables. Although yams are synonymous with sweet potatoes, there’s a big difference between them.

Yams look like tree logs and have darker brown skin and white flesh. They also tend to be starchier than sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are smaller, with lighter brown color skin and orange flesh. They are also more moist and sugary than yams.

Do you put eggs in sweet potato pie?

Yes, adding eggs to sweet potato pie is a common practice. This gives the filling a creamy texture.

Is sweet potato pie a black thing?

Sweet potato pie is not a black thing, contrary to popular belief. It is eaten by people of all races and cultures. If you ask a black person which he or she prefers: sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie, 9/10 we’ll select sweet potato pie.

Why is my sweet potato pie not firm?

There could be a few reasons why your sweet potato pie isn’t firm: you may have overcooked it, the filling may not be thick enough, or you may have used too much liquid.

If your recipe doesn’t call for eggs, try adding two eggs to the filling mixture to see if that helps thicken it up. If that doesn’t work, you may need to bake the pie for a longer period of time.
Baking is all about trial and error, so don’t get discouraged if your sweet potato pie isn’t perfect the first time around. With a little practice, you’ll be churning out award-winning pies in no time!

Can I use canned sweet potatoes in a recipe for sweet potato pie?

Yes, canned sweet potatoes can be used in a recipe for sweet potato pie. However, you may want to drain the sweet potatoes before using them in the pie filling. Otherwise, your pie may be too watery.

However, using them will not produce the same results in a sweet potato pie recipe that calls for fresh sweet potatoes. Fresh sweet potatoes will yield a better flavor and texture.

How long do I cook the sweet potatoes in the oven before making the pie filling?

It is best to bake sweet potatoes in the oven for about 1 hour before making the pie filling. This will ensure that they are cooked through and will yield the best flavor and texture in the pie.

What is the best type of crust to use for a sweet potato pie?

The best type of crust to use for a sweet potato pie is a flaky crust. You can use a store-bought recipe or you can use my recipe for homemade pie crust.

Should I refrigerate the dough before rolling it out and baking the crust?

Yes, it is best to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out and baking the crust. This helps the butter get cold and will yield a flaky pie crust.

Prebake your crust for 10 minutes in a 350°F oven. Prebaking pie crust is important because it helps the crust stay crisp.

How do I know when the sweet potato pie is done baking?

The best way to tell if a sweet potato pie is ready to come out of the oven is to insert a knife into the center. If the blade comes clean, then the pie is done baking. I’ve made this recipe several times, and I know that it’s done when the pie jiggles just a little bit after being baked.

How to store Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is best 2 days after baking but will remain fresh, covered in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. Freeze sweet potato pie for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 24 hours before reheating.

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More Soul Food Recipes

If you love sweet potato pie as much as I do, here are some more sweet potato recipes that you can add to your dessert table.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before beginning, here are the steps I use to get organized.

Step 1: Make a decision if you’re making the pie crust from scratch or buying one.

Step 2: Pick how you’re going to cook your sweet potatoes. My recommendation is to take the time to bake them.

Step 3: Measure everything out into individual bowls to move more quickly.

Step 4: Invest in an oven thermometer to avoid any surprises. Place the thermometer in the center of the oven, and wait 10-15 minutes at 350°F.

Step 5: Start following the recipe and get ready for the best southern sweet potato pie recipe you’ve ever had.

A southern sweet potato pie recipe is a classic that everyone should know how to make. This recipe is simple and straightforward, and the end result is delicious. Whether you’re serving it at a Thanksgiving feast or taking it to a potluck, this sweet potato pie will be a hit with all of your friends and family.

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Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Kenneth Temple
This sweet potato pie recipe has a buttery and flaky pie crust, and the pie filling is silky smooth and bursting with warm spice flavor!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 persons
Calories 603 kcal

Ingredients
  

Pie Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups flour plus more for rolling out
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water

Sweet Potato Pie:

  • 1 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes about 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Hennessy Whipped Cream:

  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Hennessy

Instructions
 

Pie Crust:

  • In a food processor blend add flour, sugar and salt pulse 2 times. Add shortening and butter, pulse 6 times. While food processor is running on low, pour in water, mix in dough, until dough sticks together. Add 1 tablespoon of flour if dough is too wet.
  • On a lightly flour dusted surface, roll out dough until it’s slightly larger than the pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate.
  • Make sure the dough hangs over and tuck dough under the lip of the dough. Make sure dough is securely packed in the rounded corners of pie plate. You can crimp the edges with a fork or make a design with the dough.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for 45 minutes. Remove from the fridge and prebake pie in a 425°F oven for 10 minutes, prick crust with a fork evenly around pie crust.
  • While the pie crust chills in the oven this will be a great time to bake your sweet potatoes in a 425°F oven for one hour.

Sweet Potato Pie:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl add sweet potatoes and butter and mix for 1 minute until smooth.
  • In another bowl mix brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. Add to sweet potatoes and mix for 1 minute. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and evaporated milk.
  • Pour evenly into pie shells and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve each slice with a dollop of Hennessy whipped cream.

Hennessy Whipped Cream:

  • In a medium bowl mix heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and Hennessy on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until thick and fluffy.

Notes

Recipe Tips & Tricks
Double the recipe to make two sweet potato pies.
  • Pick a deep 9-inch or 10-inch pie pan. This will give you enough room to, fit all the sweet potato filling in one pan.
  • Feel free to use a pre-made frozen store-bought pie crust to save time.
  • If you do not have a food processor to make the pie crust, blend the shortening and butter into the flour by hand, fork, or with a pastry cutter.
  • A crucial element to any homemade pie crust is using cold butter and cold water. In fact, every recipe will tell you to refrigerate the dough for 40 minutes. This is because the cold butter creates a flakier crust.
  • Always add salt when you bake; a little salt goes a long way to bring out the sweetness in all the ingredients.
  • Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 8 minutes on each side to save time.
  • Feel free to use canned sweet potatoes if you’re in a real pinch for time. Just know that you’ll be sacrificing tons of flavor.
  • I always bake my sweet potatoes a month in advance when preparing for any holiday feast, and I’ll keep the flesh in the freezer. Then, I thaw it out in the fridge24-48 hours before baking my pies.
  • You can also make the sweet potato pie filling one month in advance before making the pie.
  • You don’t have to use mashed sweet potatoes because scooping to measure them and using a hand mixer it’ll break the sweet potato down.
  • Feel free to use dark brown sugar or white granulated sugar as a swap for the light brown sugar.
  • Try adding some brown sugar as a sub for powdered sugar or white sugar for a brown sugar whipped cream.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, use freshly grated nutmeg. You can do the same for cinnamon if you don’t want to use ground cinnamon.
  • Try my fried sweet potato pies recipe.
Storage:
Sweet potato pie is best 2 days after baking but will remain fresh, covered in an airtight container for 7 days in the fridge. Freeze sweet potato pie for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw for 24 hours before reheating. Reheat cold sweet potato pie in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot. Reheating frozen sweet potato pie may take close to 1 hour.

Nutrition

Calories: 603kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 8gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 298mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 4549IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 153mgIron: 2mg
Keyword black folks sweet potato pie recipe, southern sweet potato pie, sweet potato pie, sweet potato pie recipe
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