Sweet Potato Pie - Best Southern Classic
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Simultaneously, roast unpeeled banana on a baking sheet for 30 minutes in the same oven. Remove and set aside. Banana will be extremely soft.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour filling into the unbaked pie crust.
- Bake at 350F for just at an hour, until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!