Homemade Holidays: A Classic Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

This time of year calls for comforting, warming foods. You couldn’t ask for a cozier dessert than this classic sweet potato pie recipe, sweetened with an ambrosial mix of brown sugar and maple syrup for a truly memorable, yet not overly sweet, flavor.

Sweet potato pie

Classic sweet potato pie recipe

Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or bourbon)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger

To top (optional)

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: International readers may enjoy this handy metric conversion guide.

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Keep your pie crust in the refrigerator for the moment, but have it close by.

Pie shell at the ready

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sweet potatoes, syrup, sugar, salt and butter until combined and a cohesive mixture forms. You can also do this by hand if desired, using a wooden spoon.

Sweet potato pie ingredients

3. Stop the mixing and add the eggs. Resume mixing on low speed until the mixture has become uniform.

4. Pause the mixer again, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the milk, extract and flavorings. Stir until combined and smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. Pour into the prepared pie shell.

Sweet potato pie

5. Place in the oven, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until mostly set in the center. Check the pie’s progress at 25 minutes or so—if the crust appears to be browning too rapidly, place foil along the edges of the crust. If it jiggles just a little bit, that is OK, because the pie will continue to bake for a little while after you remove it from the oven. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

6. When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and flavoring, and mix until firm peaks form. Dollop either on top of the whole pie or on individual servings.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • This recipe uses part brown sugar and part maple syrup as a sweetener, which really brings out the flavor of the sweet potatoes. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can also use honey in the same quantity. If you don’t have either, you can simply omit, or add 2 tablespoons more brown sugar.
  • The sweet potatoes and melted butter used in this recipe should not be piping hot. Let the sweet potatoes cool to room temperature before proceeding. Once you’ve melted the butter, let it cool for about five minutes before you start mixing your ingredients.
  • To get 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes, you’ll need the “meat” from two very large, or 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes. I prefer to bake the potatoes, let them cool, and then scoop out the baked insides.
  • For best results, use a traditional pie crust (rather than a cookie crust, which might burn) as the vessel for your tasty sweet potato filling.

Topping variations

Whipped cream topping

Want something different than whipped cream on top? You could also try one of these nifty toppings:

  • Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, preheat the oven to 450 F. Top the pie with 2 cups melted marshmallows, covering the entire top of the pie (excluding the crust). Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake just until the mallows have become browned, less than 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, preheat the oven to 450 F. Top the pie with the meringue topping featured in this lemon meringue pie recipe, using the meringue mixture to cover the entire top of the pie (excluding the crust). Bake until the meringue topping has browned, less than 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet potato slices

 

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