It’s that time of the year when pies start to be in vogue. I love the fall y’all! There are so many delicious things to enjoy during this season and one of them is sweet potato pie! Now don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkin pie, too. I just don’t know how to make it. So, if you want to share some of your secrets to successful pumpkin pie, please do so in the comments. I’d love to know how to make it from scratch. I come from a family that is TEAM Sweet Potato Pie, so that’s the recipe that my grandmother handed down.
- Pie Shell
- 2-3 Sweet Potatoes (or more)
- Nutmeg, Cinnamon, or All Spice
- Sugar (white and brown)
- Milk, preferably pet milk
- Vanilla Extract
So, the first thing you want to do is boil your sweet potatoes. This will take the longest to prepare so you want to get those started first. If you aren’t a fan of boiling sweet potatoes, you can take a shortcut by buying a can of already cooked sweet potatoes. If you use these, I’d advise removing the juice it comes in and washing them off. If you want to stick to tradition and boil your sweet potatoes, you want to have them be as soft as possible. So boil them until you can stick a fork through them with no struggle.
Once the sweet potatoes are done, you can sit them to the side and let them cool a bit. If you prefer to have your ingredients cool when you prepare the pie, let them sit a full hour. If you like the ingredients slightly warm, then wait about 20-30 minutes.
When I was younger, I used to make pie crust from scratch with my grandma but once she got older, even she started buying the pie shells from the store. Honestly, I can’t even remember how to make the pie crust from scratch it’s been so long. It’s very complicated, too. You have to incorporate ingredients the right way or else you end up with glue or really tough shells. That’s why I just get the store-bought shells. They have the regular ones made of dough from the freezer section or you can get the ones made of graham crackers which is usually in the baking section. I like the ones made of dough and I sit these out on the counter to get to room temperature as I prepare the other ingredients.
After letting the sweet potatoes cool, it’s a good idea to put them into a big mixing bowl. They should be cool enough to touch by now but if not, use a potato masher. I personally don’t like to give measurements because I know that everyone has various taste buds and health conditions. So I will provide general measurements to start with but you can add more if you like according to your tastes. Keep in mind that when sugar cooks and cools down, the item will be even sweeter so you don’t want the raw batter to be too sweet.
You can start by adding a half a cup of melted butter. You can use margarine if you prefer (which has a better flavor to me than butter) or you can use a low-fat alternative according to your diet. You can also add a half teaspoon of nutmeg and/or cinnamon (if you prefer all-spice, you can use this instead). I personally only use nutmeg and it’s really powerful so don’t go overboard using this spice. Then add a teaspoon of Vanilla extract. This just helps with flavor. Then you can add a half a cup of sugar. With this ingredient, you can add more or less. It’s really up to your dietary needs. I would taste the batter to see if it needs more or less but remember to taste the batter before adding eggs and also remember what I said earlier about sugar once it cools down. Like with nutmeg, don’t overdo the sugar. You still want to taste the potato flavor so make sure its a even blend.
Once you have added most of the ingredients, its a good time to add the milk. I like pet milk in a can because it gives the pie a little more flavor. But you can use regular milk. If you are vegan, you can use alternative milk. I’d start with a third of a cup and then slowly add more to thin out the batter. Then use a mixer and start to blend the ingredients together. It will probably start out very thick so just keep adding milk until it thins out. You don’t want it soupy and you don’t want it thick either. Try to achieve a balance. Also, you have to add an egg or two which will also thin out the batter. If you are a vegan, you can skip the eggs or any other dairy in this product or use an alternative. Beat the ingredients together until the batter is easy to pour.
Once you are done, pour the batter into the pie shells. I usually pour until it’s halfway filled to give the batter room to rise. You may be able to get one or two pies out of the batter. Preheat the oven to 325 or 350 and bake it for about an hour. I personally check the pie around the 45 minute mark by poking it with a tooth pick in the center. That seems to cook last, so if the center is ready the pie is ready. You will know when you stick the tooth pick (or small knife) in the center and it comes out clean.
Take the pie out and let it cool. I personally like the way the pie tastes the next day. Something about the pie cooling down makes all the flavors come together perfectly. But you can eat it the same day once it cools. If you really want to get adventurous, you can add some vanilla ice cream to the side. I love ice cream with pie. Or you could even do whipped cream. Mmmmmmmm. Go ahead. Dig in!
I hope you like this segment of my blog. Check back for more monthly food ideas. If you have any questions about preparing this meal, leave them in the comments section or contact me directly here. To get more meal ideas, click here.
Image of sweet potato pie courtesy of 34562962 © Msphotographic | Dreamstime.com
Mel Childs is the author of this article and the owner of Move Me To Atlanta. She also owns her own writing company in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, she has written freelance for various publications, including Bob Vila, This Old House, Lawnstarter, WikiLawn, Homelight, Fixr, LeadsForward, Upscale Magazine, Black EOE Journal, Ancient Origins, and many more.