Recipe: How to make a Sweet Potato Pie

There are pictures here of two of my pies–one from Thanksgiving 2008 and the one I made tonight–Thanksgiving Eve 2010.

I usually make two sweet potato pies at a time because it doesn’t take any extra time to double the ingredients as you boil the sweet potatoes or toast the nuts. And, once you’ve boiled the sweet potatoes, really, it is all smooth sailing from there. You do, however, have to make sure there is plenty of room in your fridge because these pies take two hours to cool. It is a cold pie, after all.

This pie uses a cornmeal crust–and I learned the hard way to just use the cheap yellow corn meal and not get all fancy with Red’s Mill cornmeal. Red’s is a medium grind, the cheap stuff is a finer grind for good reason. Lets just say  the medium grind is not totally unlike eating egg shells. It is awful. Don’t go there. Just get the cheap stuff for cornmeal crusts.

I’ve put together a step-by-step pictorial on the process to make it easier.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Pie Filling

This recipe comes from a pie making class I took at Rudy’s A Cook’s Paradise in Twin Falls, Idaho in 2006, taught by Laura Fall-Sutton.

Tarts are a great way to use up scraps

Tarts are a great way to use up scraps


1lb sweet potatos

1/4 c butter, unsalted

1 recipe cornmeal pastry (below)

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1TBSP finely shredded (zested) orange peal. Navel works well.

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

3 slighly beaten eggs

1 C half and half

1 recipe Nut Streusel Topping (below)


Peel sweet potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a covered sauce pan, French Oven or Stock pot with enough boiling salted water to cover for 25-35 minutes until tender.

Drain potatoes. Then return to the pot and mash. There should be about 1.5 c of mashed sweet potatoes.

Add butter to hot mashed sweet potatoes, stirring until melted.

Zest the orange…

…Stir orange peel, spices, sugar in to sweet potato mixture.

…stir in eggs and half and half.

Set aside so you can prepare the crust…or…while you are boiling those sweet potatoes you could prepare the cornmeal crust (below–at bottom).

Ease the cornmeal pastry crust in to the pie plate. I do this by first rolling out the dough on a parchment paper, then placing the plate upside down on top of the pastry and then flipping it over.

It is fragile. Crimp the edges high.

Fill pastry shell with sweet potato mixture. Cover edge of pie with foil or protector.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes,  Remove protector, sprinkle nut streusel topping on top, bake for another 20-25 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool for two hours on wire rack, then cool for an additional two hours in fridge before serving.


1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c packed brown sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 TBSP butter

1/4 c toasted and chopped hazelnuts or almonds


Mix ingredients except for nuts; cutting in butter until resebles crumbs. Add nuts. Sprinkle on top of pie at correct time. NOTE: to toast nuts, simply chop and place on baking sheet for 30 minutes in oven with pie as it bakes.


3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c yellow cornmeal (get fine ground; DO NOT get Red’s, it will feel like egg shells)

1TBSP sugar

1/3 c shortening (use butter flavored crisco)

3-5 TBSP ice water


Mix dry ingredients; cutting in shortening until pea-sized. Add one TBSP of water at a time, tossing with fork after each addition. Roll dough in to ball when done. Place ball in fridge until ready to roll out and put in pie plate.


2 thoughts on “Recipe: How to make a Sweet Potato Pie

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie « Sugarmamabakingco’s Blog

  2. Pingback: Sugar Mama Baking Company » Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie

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