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Sweet Potato Pie - Best Southern Classic

Updated on November 19, 2017
DixieMockingbird profile image

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over twenty years and has cooked on multiple television stations, including Food Network.

Classic Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Southern sweet potato pie is a classic holiday dessert - a silky custard pie that is perfectly paired with freshly whipped cream.
Southern sweet potato pie is a classic holiday dessert - a silky custard pie that is perfectly paired with freshly whipped cream.

Not just desert...

 Like the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch, Southerners have all kinds of sweet and savory pies that are served alongside a main meal, not just as desert. I love that - pie for dinner!

The original recipe I referred to was by a Mississippi woman who had eight children. Her recipe made two huge pies - because she had so many mouths to feed. Sweet potatoes were readily available in the South, obtinable year round, and were extremely high in nutritional value. Not such a bad choice for dinner after all, huh?

I have to admit this is NOT the very best sweet potato pie I've ever made. I can't find the recipe for best one. It was published by The Smithsonian in the 90's, as part of a project collecting regional recipes, and had been gathered from a woman down in Mississippi. I made that one for years, and for once I followed the original recipe exactly (which I rarely do!). It was silky, rich, delicious - redolent of sweet potato, cinnamon and cream. Then I lost the newspaper clipping.

I've searched for several years - even contacting the Smithsonian in an attempt to get it back. No success. Over the years, I've worked on several recipes in an attempt to duplicate it. I haven't gotten quite there - although I will say, this one is pretty daggone good. Matter of fact, if I had never known about the one from Mississippi, I'd say with all confidence that this one was the best ever, especially bathed with a touch of sweetened whipped cream. This pie is a terrific alternative to pumpkin, or a great way to add sweet potatoes to your diet. Matter of fact I used this to get sweet potatoes into my children. If I said 'sweet potatoes', the Precious Darlings would turn up their adorable little noses. But if I said 'pumpkin pie' (I lied), they'd say 'yay!'.

You can certainly add this to your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, but don't save it just for a holiday. It tastes too daggone good.

Roast banana?

Now - I know the banana seems odd. I learned the roasted banana trick in combo with sweet potatoes years ago, and thought I'd try it with this pie. It works so well! You don't taste banana at all - but it gives a lovely counterpart to the slight bitterness that sweet potatoes can have. I throw a banana in with all kinds of sweet potatoe recipes now. Great way to use up the ones that are slightly unattractive too.

 

The recipe!

You'll need:

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 banana
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 recipe All Butter Pie Crust, prepared in a 9 inch pie plate
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil, and bake for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. They should be very soft when pierced with a fork.
  2. Simultaneously, roast unpeeled banana on a baking sheet for 30 minutes in the same oven. Remove and set aside. Banana will be extremely soft. 
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from oven, unwrap them and allow them to cool until comfortable to handle. Remove the skins, and place the flesh in a mixing bowl. Mash potaotes with a fork. Pull the peel off the banana and add it to the bowl. Mix with sweet potato.
  4. With a mixer, beat butter into sweet potato and banana. Add sugar, cream, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and salt, and mix unti well incorporated. Mixture should be very smooth.
  5. Pour filling into the unbaked pie crust.
  6. Bake at 350F for just at an hour, until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Freshly Baked Sweet Potato Pie

Freshly baked sweet potato pie should be pulled from the oven while it still has the barest wiggle in the center. It will finish with carryover cooking, and the center will be silky smooth.
Freshly baked sweet potato pie should be pulled from the oven while it still has the barest wiggle in the center. It will finish with carryover cooking, and the center will be silky smooth.

The Banana Adds Depth and Sweetness

I know it seems odd, but a roasted banana adds a depth of flavor and character to the pie that the sweet potatoes play well off of.
I know it seems odd, but a roasted banana adds a depth of flavor and character to the pie that the sweet potatoes play well off of.

Beat the Butter and Sweet Potatoes

Beat together the sweet potatoes, bananas and butter until smooth. This helps make sure the rest of the ingredients incorporate fully.
Beat together the sweet potatoes, bananas and butter until smooth. This helps make sure the rest of the ingredients incorporate fully.

Roast the Sweet Potatoes - Don't Boil Them

Roasting the potatoes until they are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork helps develop richer flavor than boiling does. The natural sugars caramelize inside the skins, and the sweet potatoes retain better flavor.
Roasting the potatoes until they are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork helps develop richer flavor than boiling does. The natural sugars caramelize inside the skins, and the sweet potatoes retain better flavor.

Serve with Fresh Whipped Cream

Cool the sweet potato pie completely before serving. Fresh whipped cream is the perfect pairing for the rich, silky pie.
Cool the sweet potato pie completely before serving. Fresh whipped cream is the perfect pairing for the rich, silky pie.

Check Out the Quick Tutorial!

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract!

How to Make Fresh Whipped Cream

© 2010 Jan Charles

Comments

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    • profile image

      Jadxia 

      7 years ago

      This recipe sounds great. I was looking to see if sweet potato and banana were a winning combo (or not), but I never considered roasting the banana!

    • DixieMockingbird profile imageAUTHOR

      Jan Charles 

      7 years ago from East Tennessee

      Thanks BK! I hope you like this one!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      This has always been a family favorite and my number 1 pie! My mouth waters looking at the picture. I like the idea of adding a banana - I'd like the extra moisture, sweetness and definitely nutrition. Super!

      Thanks a million and rated up!

    • DixieMockingbird profile imageAUTHOR

      Jan Charles 

      7 years ago from East Tennessee

      It's just one - and you don't taste it at all, but it does add a nice mellow note. Hope you like it!

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 

      7 years ago from A small southern town

      Roasted bananna with sweet potatoes, that sounds

      interesting! It is one combo, I've never heard

      before.

      I'll be trying this in the next few days.

      Thanks for passing that on.

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