Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Potato Pie

I don't like Pumpkin Pie, and I don't like Sweet Potato Pie. I must have something against orange veggies or something because I'm not crazy about carrots either. In fact, as a kid I thought that carrots were the causes behind my nightmares :D. Anyway, my mother loves sweet potato pie, and I love her, so I made this pie...well, two pies because of the excess filling. I brought them to my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving, so the rest of the family partook in the consumption of this pie as well.
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.
My Stepmother's Sweet Potato Pie
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.

Pie Crust
from A Baker's Odyssey (Youtube video of the author making the crust here)
Yields two 9-inch pie crusts

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
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.


  1. Looks yummy! I love the tart pan idea. I was looking at that pan at W-S today. That would throw my family for a loop - pie is pie is pie!

  2. I LOVE sweet potato pie, so much so, that I'm even coming up with a candied sweet potato macaron! That said, yours looks amazing, and I like the optional addition of cream cheese. I need to try this! That said..I have a little gift for you at the end of this entry..


  3. Hi Memoria. Your pies look lovely! I'm glad your aunt enjoyed them so much. You are right about taste -- everyone prefers something else. I made blondies for my family this Thanksgiving, and my mom thought they were too sweet. Everyone else liked them though. I guess you can't please them all!

  4. Sarah - I actually got this pan from a Bakery supply store. It was about 7 to 9 dollars, too!

    Lisa Michele - You have a gift for me?! Ooooo!

    Msmeanie - Thanks!! Umm, I love blondies. I bet I would have loved them.

  5. Hi, Mem

    I love,love, love sweet potato pie and I thank you for making not one, but two of them for me. I brought home half of what was left and like a fine wine or cheese, the pie has only gotten better. The crust? Phenomenal!!!!!!!!!! I am looking forward to your visit and thank you again! Keep up the good cooking and baking.

  6. I made this crust for Thanksgiving! IT WAS DELICIOUS... tender and flaky with a good flavor! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us! :)

  7. Question: For the filling, do you use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks!

  8. Unsalted butter. You could use salted butter as long as you don't addadditional salt.


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