I was dubious about the outcome of this pie because I was unsure of how it was supposed to taste. Since I got the recipe from my stepmother, who is a whiz at making sweet potato pies, she told me to go by taste! It is hard to go by taste when you don't like the taste of what you're making, so I couldn't figure out how much sugar to add to the pie.
So, I was beyond eager to see how the pie tasted to my mother. When she took her first taste, I waited anxiously for her critique. When my mother enjoys a dish, she closes her eyes and moans excitedly. Sadly, she didn't do that after tasting this pie. Being the supporting and loving mother she is, she said, "It's good. It's just not that sweet."
With a saddened heart, I said, "I knew you wouldn't like it." She said she did like it, but I didn't believe her. My aunt, on the other hand, said that she did like it, but she likes her pies to be less sweet.
I know where I went wrong, though. I added another sweet potato (so, 3 in total) because I was afraid I wouldn't have enough filling for some weird reason. I should have been satisfied with two sweet potatoes and the same amount of other ingredients. I will stick with my stepmother's recipe because I know my mom loves her pies (yes, my stepmother has made pies for my mom. Isn't that cool?!). Don't expect precise measurements on this recipe. As my stepmom stated, go by taste... So, if you like this type of pie, you should get it right the first time around.
I slightly adapted her recipe by adding in brown sugar and making the cream cheese optional.
Homemade, unbaked pie crust (recipe below)
2 lbs sweet potatoes (2 large, sweet potatoes)
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (by taste)
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (by taste)
1 tsp - 1 Tbsp cinnamon
Nutmeg or allspice (by taste)
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 stick melted butter
1/2 box of cream cheese (4 oz), room temperature (optional)
Then 3 eggs (add AFTER you get the taste you want)
Prepare the sweet Potatoes:
Wash and boil the potatoes whole and check if their done by poking them with a fork (there should be no resistance) after 45 mins to an hour. Pour out the hot water and add cold water. The skin should come off easily.
Prepare the filling:
Place the boiled and peeled sweet potatoes and the rest of the ingredients, except the eggs, in a mixer bowl, and mix really well. Taste the mixture to see if it has the right amount of sweetness and spices. Mix in the eggs one by one. Pour mixture into an uncooked pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. Lightly touch the top of the pie. If dry, then ready. If wet, cook longer. Make sure crust is nice and brown.
from A Baker's Odyssey (Youtube video of the author making the crust here)
Yields two 9-inch pie crusts
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup(1 stick) cold unsalted butter; cut in Tbsp size pieces
1/2 cup cold shortening or homemade lard or commercial lard; cut in Tbsp size pieces
6 Tbsp. ice water
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar (or regular vinegar)
Keep all ingredients cold while making this dough. Place dry ingredients into food processor. Add in butter first and pulse three times for 5 seconds. Add in the shortening and pulse three times again. Add in the cold water, starting with 4 Tbsp of water and vinegar, adding more water until a ball ALMOST forms in the processor. Do not over-mix! Remove the dough from the food processor and divide the dough in halves either by weighing them or just "eye-balling" it. Then shape each half into a rough disk and wrap each half separately in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Then roll out one of the cold disks for the bottom crust, set it in the pie pan, and fill it with pie filling. Then roll out the second cold disk for the top crust.