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Sweet Potato Pie

I cannot imagine a holiday without this traditional Southern pie on the table. I use almost every spice in the cabinet to add depth and warmth to the silky filling. Serve it with a big dollop of whipped cream, with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top. Comfort baked into a pie.–Cheryl Day and Griffith Day

LC Quintessential Quibble Note

Sugar and spice and everything nice—that’s what you’ll find in a slice of this sweet potato pie. And when we say “nice,” we don’t mean it in a goody-goody sorta way. We mean it in a go-wobbly-in-the-knees, may-I-have-a-third-slice sorta way. The only quibble we can imagine having with this eminently easy recipe? It makes quite an ample amount of magnificently spiced sweet potato filling. Enough, we’ve found, to fill a really, really deep pie plate. What’s that? You lack a monstrous pie plate? Then you have a decision to make. Do you fill your standard pie plate to the brim and then slurp up the rest of the filling with a spoon? Do you cringe as you pour the rest of the fantabulous filling down the drain? Do you measure out every last drop of the excess into ramekins and bake them into custards? Do you instead divvy the filling between two standard 8-inch pie plates and beget twice the pie—albeit each with a slightly skimpy amount of custard? Or do you just grab your 10-inch cast-iron skillet and pretend it’s a pie plate and call it a day? Let us know what you decide.

Special Equipment: 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or 10-inch pie plate

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds orange or garnet sweet potatoes (1 to 2 potatoes) or 2 cups canned sweet potato puree
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses or sorghum
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 recipe Shortcut Pie Crust (made with brown sugar and prebaked in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Directions

  • 1. If using whole sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them until fork tender, 60 to 70 minutes, depending on the size. Let cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (176°C). Unwrap the sweet potatoes and slip the skins from the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a fork, handheld potato masher, immersion blender, food processor, or potato ricer until smooth.
    If using canned sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Place the canned sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  • 2. Add the cream, eggs, and molasses or sorghum to the sweet potatoes and whisk until completely incorporated.
  • 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, cardamom, cloves, mace, ginger, and salt. Add the sweet potato mixture and stir until smooth.
  • 4. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust. (If not using a deep-dish pie plate, you may have some leftover filling, which you can pour into buttered ramekins and bake as custards, if desired.)
  • 5. Bake the pie for 60 to 70 minutes, until the filling is firm around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center when you gently shake the pie plate. The filling will continue to firm up as it cools. You may need to loosely cover the pie with foil after 50 minutes to prevent it from overbrowning. Let the pie cool completely before slicing and serving. The pie is best served the same day, but can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days. If desired, heap the whipped cream on top and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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