Sweet Potato Pie including a classic recipe from the southern US.

Sweet potato pie
Sweet potato pie is a mouth-watering open pastry crust pie, made with the naturally sweet tasting vegetable, the sweet potato, blended together with milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg.

This dessert pie is hugely popular in the southern states of the US, although the pie is of Afro-American tradition.

The pastry crust is made from shortcrust pastry and the sweet potato may be substituted with pumpkin.

Some recipes use milk, whilst others may ask for cream, plain yoghurt or more often, evaporated milk.
As well as flavouring the pie with delicious spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, vanilla essence is also commonly added.

To prepare the sweet potatoes, they should be boiled for about 35 - 40 minutes in plenty of salted boiling water in a large saucepan, with their skins still intact. Keeping the skins on will make peeling the potatoes easier after cooking.

Sweet potato pie may be eaten warm or cold and can be accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cream.

Below are a number of recipes for sweet potato pie ranging from the most traditional to a more modern version.

Sweet Potato Pie

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Ingredients
  • 1 9 inch shortcrust pie crust
  • 1 lb (450 g) of sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • ½ a cup of softened butter
  • ½ a cup of milk (1/3 of a can of evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp of ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
Method
  1. Prepare the sweet potatoes by washing them and boiling them whole, with their skins for about 40 minutes or until tender. When cooked, run under cold water, allow to cool and then peel the sweet potatoes to remove all of the skin.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  3. Mash the sweet potatoes together with the butter by using a potato masher or blend together in a food processor.
  4. Add the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and ground nutmeg and mix well until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Line a 9 inch pastry case with the shortcrust pastry and then spread the sweet potato filling evenly over the base of the pastry case.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 50 - 60 minutes or until light brown in colour.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least an hour before serving.

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients
  • Shortcrust pastry made with 4 oz (115 g) of flour and 2 oz (55 g) of butter
  • 1½ lb (680 g) of sweet potato
  • 8 fl oz (225 ml) of single cream
  • 2 oz (55 g) of softened butter
  • 2 oz (55 g ) of muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of ground cloves
  • ½ tsp of ground ginger
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Method
  1. Peel and cut the sweet potato into wedges and roast in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  3. Mash the roasted sweet potato with the cream in a large bowl or in a food mixer.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk all of the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir into the sweet potato mixture, stirring well to thoroughly blend all of the ingredients together. Add the vanilla and the spices and combine well.
  6. Line a 9 inch pastry tin with the rolled out pastry and fill with the sweet potato mixture.
  7. Bake in the oven for about an hour, until the top has browned slightly.
  8. Allow to cool before serving.
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