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Thanksgiving Recipes: Sweet Potato Pie

Updated on October 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pie

Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Southern Sweet Potato Pie | Source

This Thanksgiving try something a little daring, yet still traditional: sweet potato pie. Most Thanksgiving menus will have sweet potatoes, or their cousin the yam, as a side dish. Shake it up this year and try a southern staple that can hold its own against any pumpkin pie, guaranteed. The traditional sweet potato pie is a custard pie that is very similar to the pumpkin pie, though it has a more silky smooth texture than the traditional pumpkin.

Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Pies

If the potatoes are not prepared correctly, the pie can have strings and lumps that ruin the whole texture and presentation. The potatoes can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for later use. As a general rule, it takes one pound of potatoes for each pie. Here are the steps to correctly prep the potatoes:

  • Wash potatoes and cut out any bad spots.
  • Boil potatoes until a fork can be easily inserted, approximately 40 to 50 minutes. The potato should not be mushy.
  • Completely cool potatoes by running under cold water.
  • Peel cooled potatoes and cut into manageable cubes.
  • Mash potatoes until they are smooth, and remove all strings.

There are a couple of different ways to remove the strings from mashed sweet potatoes. One way is to run the mashed potatoes through a colander, leaving the strings behind. Another way is to simply use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes instead of mashing them. This will give a smoother texture and the strings will stick to the beaters; simply rinse the strings from the beaters and repeat the process until all the strings have been removed.

Sweet Potatoes


Sweet Potato Pie Recipes

There are many variations on the sweet potato pie and each has a little something that makes it special. The traditional recipe calls for sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Many family recipes have been handed down through the generations and have never been put to paper. There is always room to work a recipe around a bit to accommodate individual preferences in texture and taste; a recipe is the barebones guideline, do not be afraid to experiment.

Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Pie


  • 1 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes (with strings removed)
    ½ cup butter (softened)
    3 eggs (separated)
    1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
    ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
    ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In medium bowl cream together softened butter, brown sugar and ¾ cup granulated sugar using a hand mixer. Add egg yolks and beat until mixture is well blended.
  • In another medium bowl combine sweet potatoes, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, ginger cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.
  • In small bowl beat egg whites until foamy and soft peaks form, and then add remaining ¼ c sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into sweet potato mixture.
  • Pour custard mixture into an unbaked pie crust and bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the center of pie comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie


Pappadeaux's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with Bourbon Sauce Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie Filling


  • 1¼ cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten lightly)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 unbaked pie crust


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • In medium mixing bowl cream together sugars and butter then add egg and mix completely. Add potatoes, cream and spices and mix until smooth, being careful not to over-mix.
  • Set mixture aside.

Pecan Pie Filling


  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 eggs (beaten lightly)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup pecans (chopped)
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon


  • Add all ingredients except nuts and beat well with electric mixer, about 5 minutes. Mixture will be opaque.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Set mixture aside.
  • Assemble the pie by first pouring the sweet potato mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Pour the pecan pie mixture directly on top of the sweet potato mixture to fill pie shell.
  • Bake pie at 325 degrees until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of pie comes out clean, about 1 ½ hours.
  • Allow pie to cool completely and store at room temperature about 24 hours before serving.

Bourbon Sauce


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 package INSTANT vanilla pudding mix (small size)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, rum or bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • In a large mixing bowl combine milk and cream. Slowly add pudding mix while whipping.
  • Add vanilla and bourbon and continue to whip until the sauce is thickened. Sauce should not be as thick as pudding, nor should it be runny.
  • Let stand for about an hour as the sauce thickens as it stands.
  • Serve pie slices with a drizzle of bourbon sauce over the top.

How to Roll and Form Pie Crusts

Quick and Easy Flakey Pie Crust


  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons ice water


  • In food processor or blender, mix flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add butter and use the pulse function to cut in the butter until the whole mixture looks like a course meal.
  • Add 3 tablespoons water and pulse until the mixture forms moist clumps. Add more water if the crust is too dry, a little at a time.
  • Flatten dough into a disk shape and wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Chill dough until it is firm, roughly 30 minutes.
  • Remove plastic wrap and place dough on a lightly flowered surface.
  • Roll dough until it is uniformly ¼ inch thick.
  • Transfer crust to pie dish and gently pat into the dish.
  • Fold extra crust under at the lip and decoratively crimp the edges.

If you liked these Sweet Potato Pie Recipes

You might also like to try a traditional pecan pie recipes or one of several variations that are all simple to make and delicious. Happy Baking!


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    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      SimpleGifts, thank you so much. I am so happy that you found the sweet potato pie recipes useful.

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      Oh my...what a gift this hub is, thanks for sharing! Rated up, and following!

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you Ladies! The Pappadeaux's Sweet Potato Pecan Pie is a wonderful, rich pie that really grabs the attention at any event. People always want the recipe once they taste it.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      I have bookmarked this one. Both recipes sound yummy.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Oh my goodness. I had decided to try the sweet potato pie, but then your second recipe grabbed me and demanded my attention. I am bookmarking this one and can't wait to give it a try! Thanks!