Confession time. I am a late convert to Sweet Potato Pie. Very very late. Because for me, Pumpkin Pie always takes precedent around the holidays. I LOVE Pumpkin Pie.
But this year, I noticed a flurry of Pumpkin Pie posts that included candied yams and claims of supreme silkiness.
So I tried it, only instead of using a combination of pumpkin and yam purees, I went whole hog and used all candied yam puree–which should actually be labeled sweet potato puree, because that’s what it is.
(Sweet potatoes and yams are not even related botanically. But because there are two types of sweet potatoes—creamy white and orange fleshed—the USDA labels the orange variety yams to distinguish between the two types.)
The result? Holy Moly! This is the silkiest winter squash pie EVER.
And supremely delicious, even without the traditional pumpkin flavor. I’m smitten, but perhaps more importantly, so is LoveMan, who always discreetly disappears when I serve classic Pumpkin Pie.
But those sad Thanksgiving dinner finales are over. To my complete amazement, he’s been helping himself to Sweet Potato Pie every night this week. Every night! Now that’s one SWEET pie.
Perfect Sweet Potato Pie
The Perfect Sweet Potato Pie is no more difficult to make than the Perfect Classic Pumpkin Pie. The primary differences are taste (mild and sweet) and texture (ultra smooth). If you have a family member who doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie, try this pie instead. MauiJim LOVES it, and he’s a diehard Pumpkin Pie avoider.
INGREDIENT NOTE To cook fresh sweet potatoes, peel and cut into 3-inch chunks. Put into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, and simmer until sweet potatoes test tender with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Drain. To puree cooked fresh or candied canned sweet potatoes, put into a processor fitted with the steel knife and pulse, adding a bit of apple juice or juices from the can as necessary, until smooth.
TECHNIQUE NOTE For the pie crust edge treatment shown above, I used Williams Sonoma autumn leaves pastry cutters. Cut leaves from scraps of pastry. Paint the upper edge of the pie crust, as well as the bottom of the pastry leaves, with beaten egg yolk , and then arrange leaves on the pie crust, pressing to make sure leaves are held securely. It’s also nice to bake several leaves separately to decorate the baked pie later.
10- to 10½-inch diameter, 6-cup capacity, partially baked pie crust
3 large eggs
1¾ cups cooked, pureed sweet potatoes or canned candied yams (15-ounces)
1½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons ground Vietnamese cinnamon (or other cinnamon of choice)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
lightly sweetened whipped cream
- In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk until well blended.
- Add the sweet potato puree and cream. Whisk until smooth, but try not to incorporate a lot of air into the custard.
- Add the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves, and whisk to incorporate.
- Pour the sweet potato filling into a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake, up to 2 days ahead.
- Whisk the sweet potato filling to incorporate the ingredients and then pour into the pastry shell.
- Bake on the bottom rack of a preheated 425º oven for 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 350º, and continue baking for about 40-45 minutes, until sweet potato filling begins to puff at the edges, and the center is almost set. (To prevent overbrowning, protect the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil or a silicon pie crust edge protector, as shown above.) When the filling is nearly done, the outer edges will appear firm and matte, while the center circle (2-3 inches) will appear indented, glossy, and jiggle a bit when gently shaken. Don’t worry about pulling the pie from the oven when it doesn’t look quite done. The custard filling will finish cooking outside the oven.
- Remove pie from the oven and cool at room temperature on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours before serving. Serve chilled.
Makes 4 cups custard filling and one 10½-inch diameter pie. Serves 6-8.
More LunaCafe Pumpkin Pies & Cheesecakes
- Perfect Classic Pumpkin Pie + 10 Uncommon Variations
- Pumpkin Sour Cream Pie with Caramel Walnut Topping
- Pumpkin Spice & White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Dreamy, Creamy, No-Bake Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- Joy the Baker: Dad’s Sweet Potato Pie
- Huffington Taste: What’s the Difference between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?
- Savory Sweet Life: Sweet Potato Pie
- Smitten Kitchen: Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
- Baking Bites: Brown Sugar Cardamom Sweet Potato Pie
- Leite’s Culinaria: Sweet Potato Pie
- She Simmers: The Best Sweet Potato Pie by Leah Chase of Dooky Chase Restaurant, New Orleans
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Copyright 2013 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.