This recipe for southern sweet potato pie is perfect every single time you bake it. With the dreamy texture that everyone craves, this is the best sweet potato pie recipe ever!
Note: While this Sweet Potato Pie recipe is, in fact perfect – the recipe and post have been updated with more options. Dad’s Perfect Sweet Potato Pie 2 New Ways! There is also a more health-conscious version of the pie Gluten-Free Dairy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie. Happy Baking! xo Joy
What is sweet potato pie?
This southern sweet potato pie is my favorite fall dessert of all time. It’s just as iconic as pumpkin pie – with the same texture but a slightly different taste. A southern sweet potato pie is made with a homemade pie crust. The filling is made with real sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, and other pie ingredients.
It’s not November. It’s not the holiday season. It’s not Fall. It’s not anything at all until I get my hands on this sweet potato pie recipe. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I can usually be found standing in front of the open refrigerator eating slices of this pie like cold pizza.
This is my Dad’s famous (because I say so) Sweet Potato Pie recipe. I’ve written about this recipe here before… heck, I’ve even written about it in my cookbook. Consider this a can’t stop/won’t stop situation. It’s just so good/too good/ just right/ you’ve gotta try this!
How does sweet potato pie compare to pumpkin pie?
How does this pie compare to a traditional pumpkin pie? Well… it’s the same color and consistency, but it’s entirely different (read: waay better!). The spices are more subtle, less cinnamon driven, and work in lovely harmony. This pie tastes like velvet, and compassion, and love, and sweet potato. Everything is good (but who eats velvet?).
Pumpkin pie has a softer consistency. Sweet potato pie is slightly thicker with a deeper flavor profile.
What size pie plate do you use for sweet potato pie?
This pie filling makes a generous amount of filling. It will overfill one of those smaller, more shallow pie tins. I used a 9-inch wide and 2-inch deep pie pan. A deeper pie pan hold this filling like a charm. I used this sort of pie plate.
Here’s what I’m thinking….
Thanksgiving is coming up. Pumpkin pie yadda yadda yadda… forget it!
Try a Sweet Potato Pie! It’s bright, beautifully spiced, and it will totally give you street-cred.
And we all know we bake mostly for the street-cred. You’re welcome.
Sweet potato pie tips
This sweet potato pie recipe requires some simultaneous work. It might seem confusing at first, but it’s easy once you get into the rhythm of it all.
Pre-cook the sweet potatoes
First, the peeled and diced sweet potatoes simmer away with water on the stovetop. Cook them until they are tender enough to mash with a fork.
Prepare the butter
While those work away, we break the butter down into the flour for pie crust.
My friend Jon taught me to use a potato masher to break the butter into the flour. That’s smarts.
Make the crust and let it chill
This buttermilk pie crust is buttery and shaggy. The dough will come together into a disk with a few kneads and some suggestive pressing. Throw it in the fridge, and we can deal with the potatoes.
I just said ‘suggestive pressing’.
Make the filling
Boiled potatoes are drained and mashed. We’re getting closer to pie filling!
It’s all worth it. I promise.
The mashed potatoes are cooked down with brown sugar, spices, and some evaporated milk.
Heating the mixture before pouring it into the crust will help open up the spices and meld all the flavors together. Once the mixture heats, I use an immersion blender to make it extra smooth.
If it seems like this recipe has a lot of extra steps. Well… it does, but it doesn’t really. Trust me. Still worth it.
Eggs, milk, and a bit more sugar are mixed into the sweet potato puree.
And it’s time to roll out the pie crust too!
Add crust and filling to pie plate
We’re totally almost there! Add the filling to the pie crust.
Bake the sweet potato pie
Let’s just stop and take a big wiff. This sweet potato pie recipe is basically air freshener… and it’s only going to get better with the heat of an oven.
If I could bottle the smell of this pie… I’d wear it every single day, and I’d have friends forever.
This pie is luscious (I’ve been using that word a lot lately/sorry), perfectly smooth, sweet, and the spices… beyond. You might not think that coriander would work in a pie filling, but it’s an absolute dream.
Other pie recourses you might consider:Print
Dad has perfected this pie recipe over the years and it makes for the most wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table. You’ll forget pumpkin pie forever, I’m sorry.
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
- 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes, from 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup (10 ounces) evaporated milk, divided
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- To make the pie crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers (or a potato masher), work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Use a fork to bring to dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.
- On a lightly floured work surface, dump out the dough mixture. It will be moist and shaggy. That’s perfect. Gently knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help rechill the butter and distribute the moisture.
- To roll out the pie crust, on a well floured surface, roll the crust 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie pan. Trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- To make the filling, first peel the sweet potatoes. Dice the sweet potatoes into large, 3-inch chunks. Place potato pieces in a large pot and cover with cool water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender throughout, about 20 minutes. Test the doneness of the potatoes using a thin knife. If the knife meets any resistance, simmer the potatoes a bit longer.
- Drain into a colander.
- In the same large pot place cooked potato pieces, the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt, butter, and half of the evaporated milk. Cook on low flame, using a potato masher to mash the potatoes and they cook. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the mixture is as smooth as possible. I used an immersion blender to completely smooth the mixture. Once mixture is smooth and fragrant, remove from fire and let cool in pot.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk well. Pour the egg mixture into the warm sweet potato mixture.
- Pour the prepared filling into the pie crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and cook until cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- To test the pie for doneness lightly shake the baking sheet. If the center of the pie has a wavy jiggle it needs more time in the oven. If the center of the pie has a lighter, more structured jiggle, it’s done! [/printable]
Keywords: sweet potato, pie, holiday, thanksgiving,