This bourbon sweet potato pie, filled with sweet potatoes, cream, butter, eggs, plenty of spice, and, of course, bourbon, is topped with a stellar brown-sugar streusel. Thanksgiving never tasted so good.
When it comes to traditional Thanksgiving pie, even if you’re a firm believer in pumpkin, we suspect you’ll find this sweet potato stand-in a worthy alternative. The bourbon flavor doesn’t try to steal the show but rather lingers in the background with a little warmth. And the superb streusel is crumbly, buttery, not too sweet, and lacking in any distracting nonsense from oats.–Jenny Howard
Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3 oz | 85 g), cubed, plus more for the pie pan
- 5 to 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
For the streusel
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 4 oz stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
For the sweet potato pie filling
Make the crust
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the butter cubes and pulse until crumbly. With the food processor running, drizzle in just enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to bring the dough together into a ball. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, shape into a disc, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12-inch (30 cm) circle. Lightly butter a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan. Gently lift an edge of the dough and drape it over the rolling pin and then carefully move it over the pie pan. Gently lower and press the dough into the pan and then flute the edges. Place the pie pan in the refrigerator while preparing the filling and crumble.
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg and milk until combined and set aside until just before baking the pie.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Make the streusel
- In the food processor, briefly mix the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and pecans to combine. Scatter the butter cubes evenly over the sugar mixture and pulse just until the mixture is crumbly. (Alternatively, in a medium bowl, use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.)
Make the sweet potato pie filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Using the stand mixer or an electric hand-held mixer, beat until well blended and no lumps remain, at least 1 minute. Add the bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and vanilla and beat 1 minute more. Add the eggs and heavy cream and mix until incorporated.
Assemble the pie
- Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator and use a pastry brush to lightly brush some of the reserved egg wash over the rim of the crust. Pour the sweet potato filling into the crust. Top with a generous layer of streusel. (Chances are you’ll have some streusel left over. If you don’t nibble it all, you can freeze the rest to sprinkle on your next batch of muffins or your next bowl of oatmeal.)
- Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and slide it on the lower rack of the oven. Bake the pie until the crust and streusel are golden brown, the edges of the filling are set, and the center jiggles just slightly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let the pie cool completely before serving. Originally published October 28, 2018.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This bourbon sweet potato pie was absolutely divine. The bourbon comes across more as a suggestion than a full-on wallop, the crust was sweet and crunchy, and the streusel, despite my fumbling, was delicious. I think this recipe would be a great way for a novice baker to really put the “wow factor” onto the Thanksgiving table.
I’m in no way a skilled baker, but my love of sweet potato pie pushed me to attempt this recipe. This crust was amazingly forgiving. I’m terrified of making pie crusts and have horror stories to back me up on this. But I was able to roll this easily and even when it came apart during my feeble efforts to flute the edges, I could just pat it back together.
It served 8 obnoxiously hungry adults after a large dinner.
I’m usually Team Apple when it comes to Thanksgiving pie, but this bourbon sweet potato pie might convince me to consider a change of allegiance. I love that it’s not the usual (boring?!) pumpkin pie, which I find a bit texturally plain and uninspiring. The sweet potato stand-in is somehow a bit fresher and lighter in taste than canned pumpkin and lends itself well to the perfectly sliceable filling. The bourbon flavor isn’t a stand-out, but somehow you know it’s lingering in the background to add a little something extra.
It’s the streusel, however, that deserves the headline here. Thick and not-too-sweet and without the distracting chewiness from oats, the brown sugar and nut topping is just right. My eaters loved that it wasn’t ground fine and that chunks of buttery sweetness provided a bit of crunch with every bite. And this pie slices like a dream.
Although the addition of cinnamon was a nice surprise to the crust, the bottom of the pie didn’t cook up to sufficient crispness using the specified cooking instructions. I’ll bake mine a bit hotter and on the lowest rack of the oven next time…and there definitely WILL be a next time. I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving!
Originally published October 28, 2018