Sweet potato pie

The perfect recipe for Thanksgiving!

Unlike its silky-smooth cousin, the pumpkin pie, this rustic pie is dense and earthy.  Mind you—it is flavored generously with butter, cream and spices, but it retains an identifiably rustic texture. The preparation technique I have devised only requires you to turn on the oven once—the sweet potatoes bake while the crust is being rolled out and frozen, the crust is then pre-baked while the filling is being prepared, and the pie goes in the oven.  None of this has to be done the accuracy of a precision drill team, but the flow from baked potato to baked pie is convenient and ultimately efficient.  Lest we be “botanically incorrect,” decorative sweet potato leaves provide the inspiration for a lovely pasty garnish.


1 Recipe Perfect Pie Crust
2 medium sweet potatoes
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 eggs, plus one yolk beaten
2 Tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
½ fresh nutmeg, grated
½ teaspoon cardamom
¾ teaspoon table salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper and bake until fork tender—at least an hour.
  3. About 30 minutes into the baking, spray a pie dish with Pam, roll out the crust, fit it over the dish, crimp the edges, and poke the bottom with the tines of a fork.
  4. Place the crust in the freezer and chill for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Take the sweet potatoes out the oven and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees.
  7. Place aluminum foil with pie weights on top of the crust and bake for 15 minutes, remove the pie weights and bake an additional 10 minutes
  8. While the crust is baking, combine the cream, buttermilk, eggs, yolk, and rum and a glass bowl or measuring cup.
  9. Melt the butter of a medium flame in a non-stick pan and combine the spices in the hot butter, allowing them to “bloom.”img_27621
  10. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to pick up, peel them and place them in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 1–2 minutes.
  11. Add the brown sugar and butter and mix for another 20 seconds.
  12. Add the cream mixture and beat for another 15 seconds.
  13. Fulling combine the mixture with a rubber spatula until homogeneous in color.
  14. Pour into the hot crust and bake for about 40 minutes—until the pie is the color of dark rum and edges are a deep golden brown.
  15. Let fully cool on a wire rack—at least a 4 hours.
  16. Optional garnish—use leftover pie dough (or another disc of unrolled dough if you really want to be extravagant.)  Cut the dough into leaf shapes and bake for about 10–13 minutes after you take the pie out of the oven.





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