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Best Sweet Potato Pie Secrets

Updated on December 2, 2012
Baked sweet potato
Baked sweet potato | Source
Mashed sweet potato
Mashed sweet potato | Source
All ingredients in the bowl
All ingredients in the bowl | Source
Baked pie
Baked pie | Source
Sliced and served with whipped cream
Sliced and served with whipped cream | Source

Lots of varied recipes

Southern style

Holiday treat or Sunday dinner and special occasions

Comfort food memories of going to grandma's house

Sweet potato

The sweet potato distinguishes itself from all other potatoes just by it's color alone, depending on the one's you are used to purchasing in the supermaket. But that is not the only reason it stands out, it is sweet which lends to it's taste appeal, versatile when it comes to cooking and eating and it's nutritional value blows the competition away.

It is a root vegetable, oblong or pointed oval. Sweet potatoes are cultivated or wild and known to grow better in tropical climates. Apparently they are botanically unrelated to the common white or Irish potato, and can actually be found in a variety of colors from white to orange to purple. Depending on the species their skin also varies in color from buff brown to purplish red.

They are not to be confused with yams! Huh?

Nutritional value

  • vitamin A, C & B complex
  • fiber
  • carotene

Pie use

Secret to a great flavorful sweet potato pie is to bake the potato, before mashing it for the filling.

Secret to a creamy sweet potato pie is to add lots of butter and 3 types of milks.

Secret to a flaky crust that is done once your great flavorful creamy sweet potato pie, is to pre bake the pie crust. I know lots of chefs and pastry cooks don't recommend this but i do, because cooking off the pie shell gives you a flakier crisper kind of layer for your dense sweet potato pie filling.

Tidbit; No burnt edges - just brush the edges with beaten egg white(s), so they don't burn when you put the whole thing together to be baked in the oven.

Like i said there are tons of versions to sweet potato pie but there are several secrets that make the best of the best stand out and that all begins with how you prepare the actual potato. Lots of people cut them up and boil them, i was one of those but recently i remembered my husband mentioning how his grand mother made the best sweet potato pie and she baked her potato.

Another discovery was to boil the sweet potato whole.

I also researched a few things and really decided to bake my potato because i was just being lazy.

I discovered that his grandmother was on to something good for many reasons. Here's a list of some.

Baked vs boiled

  • nutritional value is up
  • flavor is sweeter
  • consistent when mashing
  • ease of mashing
  • creamy
  • it's a time saver

Another thing i discovered when researching was that using 3 spices makes a world of difference. Enhancing the flavor of the pie filling, especially once it is baked.


  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • allspice, optional
  • apple pie spice, optional
  • cloves, optional

If you can use fresh, that is a game changer but you will also have to increase the amount.

I also discovered that using 3 types of milks or creams add to a dense creamy filling.

Milks / Creams

  • evaporated milk
  • heavy cream
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • whole milk
  • half and half

I also discovered that 2 sugars made all the difference in flavor and sweetness.


  • light brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • corn syrup
  • maple syrup, optional

Butter, unsalted

Butter is better and lots of butter makes it better. I added lots of butter to my hot sweet potato as i mashed it, before adding anything else to the bowl or pot.

Then i added all my other ingredients.

  • eggs
  • salt

Once everything was combined i poured it into my cooled pre baked pastry shell, then baked it at 350 degrees, then covering with foil as it cooked the last 15 minutes or so cause i didn't want the pie shell edges to burn.

But in the end it all depends on the taste!

Variations in flavor

  • adding vanilla extract
  • adding rum to the filling
  • adding pecans or another nut to the top or pressed into the pie shell
  • adding marshmallows to the top
  • adding dry fruit like raisins
  • crushed or broken ginger snaps pressed into the pie crust

Serving your slice

  • ice cream
  • whip cream
  • cool whip
  • buttered rum sauce
  • plain
  • glass of milk

Another game changer a pie shell made of crushed ginger snaps...

Ode to the Sweet potato...


Why is Sweet potato pie, Southern?


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    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 5 years ago

      Hello The Dirt Farmer, a pleasure, thanks - let me know how it turns out.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Hey celiegirl! Glad to get your tips. Using 3 kinds of milk is first one I'm going to try.