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Granny Alexander's Famous Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
How to make the best sweet potato pie you've ever tasted!
One of my favorite Thanksgiving treats is having a piece of homemade sweet potato pie with my dinner.
My paternal grandmother, Tiny Alexander, was known for making the best sweet potato pies in Los Angeles. Thank goodness she shared her pie recipe with her daughter-in-law (my mother), who has since given it to me.
Get ready for some mouth-watering authentic Southern cooking!
My grandmother, Tiny Blackwell Alexander, with her husband and 15 of her 16 children.
All the ingredients for a sweet potato pie
Here's Granny's recipe!
You can double or triple,or quadruple the recipe, depending on how many pies you want to make at a time.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick of soft butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Boil the sweet potato until it is soft and tender on the inside (approx. 10-20 minutes).
- Peel the sweet potato and remove any coarse strings.
- Add the milk, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, and nutmeg.
- Beat or mix well with mixer.
- Bake in pie crust shell at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a toothpick comes up clean from the center (about one hour 15 minutes or until done).
- Allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.
Sweet potatoes are an important part of African-American cooking
Sweet potatoes are a native plant in the Americas. When Africans were brought to the New World, they embraced the sweet potato because it was similar to a plant they knew back home, the yam. Sweet potatoes and yams are NOT the same plant, not even in the same genus, but they were similar enough to become very popular with African-Americans.
"Africans in the South knew the yam...from their homeland and the two tubers have become virtually interchangeable in Southern cooking. Most Southern sweet potato recipes have been developed by blacks from their traditional cuisine..." -- Bill Neal in his book Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie.
Sweet potato pie vs. Pumpkin pie
Wikipedia's entry on sweet potato pie says that sweet potato pie is "similar in many ways to pumpkin pie." They may be similar, but a lot of people have a definite preference between the two. Do you?
Which pie do you like to see on your own holiday table?
Which kind of pie do you prefer, sweet potato or pumpkin?
My hope is to pass this recipe on someday
to a daughter-in-law of my own.
© 2010 Joan Hall