Joy the Baker

Dad’s Perfect Sweet Potato Pie

November 20, 2009

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

I have a relationship with this pie.  That’s normal, right?

The smell of this pie takes me back to the days six year old me would run screaming through our lime green, hallway shaped kitchen in anticipation of pie and ice cream and the imminent holiday festivities such a dessert suggested.

My Dad has been making this pie, with more cinnamon, with less coriander, with two eggs, with four eggs, with all sorts of variations, for… oh, just my entire life.

Believe it or not, it’s hard to write about something you’re so close to.  Two things here are strange.  One… I’m so close to a pie.  Two… I’m having trouble writing about dessert! Oooh Lordy.

Here’s what I want you to know about this Sweet Potato Pie.  Excuse me while I stumble through this.

This pie is made with orange fleshed sweet potatoes.  Maybe you call them yams.  Maybe you call them sweet potatoes.  The difference continues to perplex and bore me.

If you’re wondering what heaven might smell like, whip this pie up, throw it in the oven, wait 20 minutes then take a deep breath somewhere near the oven.  There.  Heaven.  Coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar heaven.

This pie can be made with my Easy No-Roll Pie Crust.  You win.  I win.  Pillsbury pre-made pie crust loses.  It’s better this way.  Trust me.

Sweet Potato Pie.  It’s beauty.  It’s love.  If you think I’m exaggerating… then we’re obviously not friends.

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

This is a gorgeous holiday pie.  Sweet Potato Pie is a really lovely alternative to Pumpkin Pie.  The flavors are full and warm and inviting, everything you would want from a Autumn pie.

Can I say enough good things about this pie?  No.

Maybe you’re not a pie baker.  That’s ok.  Become one now.  If you take the time to make this pie, it won’t let you down.  The love shines through, promise.

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

Dad’s Perfect Sweet Potato Pie

makes one 9-inch (you’ll have extra filling) or 10-inch pie

Note-  the No Roll Pie Crust is only made for a 9-inch pie pan

Print this Recipe!

2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2- 5oz cans evaporated milk (1 1/4 cups evaporated milk)
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Boil two medium sweet potatoes in their jackets in a covered pot over moderate flame, until sweet potatoes are very soft and tender.

Test with a thin sharp knife. If there is any resistence, boil longer. Knife should penetrate the sweet potatoes fast and smoothly. Remove potatoes from the water and allow to cool on a plate or wire rack.

When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, cut into chunks and place in a large bowl. Mash potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher. There should be NO lumps.

Measure 2 cups and put in a medium sized pot with the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt,  the 1/2 stick butter, and one 5 oz can of evaporated milk. Cook on low flame for about 5 minutes, whipping with a wire whisk until butter and brown sugar are melted down and mixture is well blended, smooth and starts to bubble. Remove from fire and let cool in pot.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the three eggs with a fork. Add the second 5oz can of evaporated milk, granulated sugar and vanilla to the eggs and continue beating until creamy. Pour the cooled sweet potato mixture from pot into a large bowl. Stir  in the egg mixture. Blend thoroughly with a whisk and refrigerate mixture overnight or use immediately.

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie

Easy No-Roll Pie Crust

makes one 9-inch pie shell

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup (4 Tablespoon) frozen butter that has been grated on a cheese grater

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used almond oil)

1 Tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature

2 Tablespoons cold milk

In a medium sized bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.  Whisk together.

Add frozen butter that has been grated on a cheese grater and tablespoon of cream cheese.  With your fingers, work the cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture, breaking the butter and cream cheese up until they’

re in well incorporated into the flour.  Some butter bits will be tiny, other the size of small peddles.  The dough may even begin to some together in a rough, sandy kind of way.

Combine the milk and oil.  Whisk together.  Add all at once to the flour and butter mixture.  With a fork, begin to combine the ingredients, making sure that all of the flour mixture is introduced to the liquid.  The mixture does not need to come together into a ball.  Leave it a bit shaggy and dump the dough into a clean 9-inch pie plate.  With your fingers,  press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides.  Try to get the dough as even as possible, but don’t worry too much about finger indentations.  You can’

t fight that.

Place the prepared crust in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

When the oven is preheated, remove the crust from the freezer and add the sweet potato filling until almost full.  I used a 9-inch pie shell and had a bit of extra filling.

Heat oven 450 degrees with a cookie sheet inside. After heated. pour filling into the pie shell and put on the HOT cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for ten minutes then turn oven to 325 (300 with the convection fan turned on) and bake for 1 hour more, or until edges and center are raised and puffed and the center only shakes slightly.

Remove from oven.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

Dad's Sweet Potato Pie


216 Comments Add A Comment

  • Joy! I’ve been waiting for you to post this recipe – looks soo good! I have a little tradition called Mockgiving (cause it’s not the real thing) where I make a huge Thanksgiving feast for friends the Saturday after real Thanksgiving and this is going on the menu!

    Happy turkey day to you – I am thankful for your blog and the joy and relief it provides me as I learn how to make pie during law school classes, instead of listening to lectures on tax or criminal procedure. :)

  • I wish there was “Like” button especially since sweet potatoes are so good for you, and then doubling the goodness in the form of pie, you really can’t go wrong.

  • 1. this looks delish…
    2. you are just a delightful addition to my day.
    3. have you been approached by publishing co to create a cookbook?
    4. hope so!
    5. happy thanksgiving to you & those you hold dear!

  • ronnissweettooth November 20, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Ah, sweet potato pie. The aroma of my childhood. This pie was at every holiday meal we had. This pie was at every church function we had. This pie and cornbread dressing (we call it dressing) with sage IS Thanksgiving to me. A few years ago, when I decided I was off sugar, I skipped the pie. The next year, I said ‘eff it’ and ate the pie. As soon as it touched my tongue, it was like being home again in my grandma’s kitchen standing on a chair, helping her beat the eggs. I’m never, ever, giving up pie again.

  • Sure looks good. I tried making it once and it didn’t turn out. I might have to try to do it again with this recipe. thanks

  • This has been a fav of my husband’s for a while. And I love your easy-as-pie crust.

  • I cannot believe you’re giving away “Leslie”‘s pie recipe!!! Does he know about this Joy?? Does he know?!?!

    ;)

    I am gonna make this over the weekend, for sure!

    Speaking of which, have a great one!

    • Are you kidding!? It took me some serious warming up to be able to post this recipe of my Dad’s. He finally let me do it!

      Hi Danny!

      • Hi, Joyness. I didn’t get to make this recipe yet, but I did go to a ridiculous BBQ my amazing chef friend was holding, which was all abotu the pork. Got to jam with a couple of eelectronica/neo soul bands and eat a ton of pork. Plus we got to sous vide some stuff and there were “trotter” tacos (pigs feet, for you not all up on the pig lingo… or pingo, as icall it..)

        Anyways, I am glad people are getting much out of this phenomenal recipe. If your pops made it, you know it’s beyond good!!!!

        ;)

  • I am looking forward to making this pie AND the crust! What fun! I have had the pleasure of eating the BEST sweet potato pie, at a restaurant in Colorado from a man whose recipe had been passed down through the generations. Your dad’s pie with his ingredient list looks like it will be my new favorite Thank you Joy!

  • OK, I’ve been dying to make a sweet potato pie. Is the coriander overwhelming compared to the sweeter spices?

  • It’s both pretty and poetic! And how precious that it means so much to you and that you share it with all of us.

    Thank you, sweetie.

  • I’ve never made a sweet potato pie. Now I must! once I have polished off the Marlborough Pie that is in my fridge. Can you cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave?

    • hmmm… sweet potatoes in the microwave. I suppose you could, but I have no experience with this. As long as the potatoes are cooked to complete tenderness, I suppose it doesn’t matter how you cook them!

      • HI!
        Just browsing the comments, and you can definitely cook the potatoes in the microwave. Just make sure you poke lots of holes in the skin, otherwise…well…you’ll need a new microwave. And possibly a new kitchen. Once they are cooked, you can just scoop them out of the skin(be careful, they’ll be HOT!)…works like a charm!

  • Joy! Let me introduce myself. I’m Sara. I love to bake and I love your blog. I made your yeast waffles yesterday and they were fabulous. Here’s my question… Sweet potato pie? Never had it. I’m very curious. How close is it to pumpkin pie? If I made it for Thanksgiving to replace pumpkin (gasp) would it freak out my dinner guests? Should I make one for myself first just to try it out and devour it all myself and then I’ll know? Hmmm… it’s got me in a quandry this sweet potato pie. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Sara!

      This pie is similar to pumpkin… some of the flavors are similar and familiar… but it’s a different. If your family is a die hard pumpkin pie family, you might want to make both pies… but I’m a sweet potato pie girl to the core.

      Happy Baking!

  • Very lovely pie. Thanks for the recipe before the holidays!

  • mmmmm….I didn’t have sweet potato pie until my first year of marriage. My husband requested I make one, and frowning the whole time, I made it from scratch. One teeny tiny taste and I was hooked. I can’t wait to make this one!

  • I’ve always wanted to make a sweet potato pie. This looks delicious and I’ll give it a go with your pie crust recipe.

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