01 July 2011

Sweet Potato Pie - Classic Southern Comfort Food


Sweet potato pie is a Southern thing, and I've had Southern on my mind since my dear cousin Charlotte died a few months ago. Charlotte was from the Southern side of the family, and she and I enjoyed working on genealogy together. It would have been wonderful if the two of us could have made a trip to Virginia together to see where many generations of our ancestors had lived.

I wrote a few blog posts for Charlotte after we had been reminiscing about our grandmother's cooking. Isn't it amazing how strong taste (and smell) memories can be? I wrote my cream gravy post for Charlotte. We couldn't think of Grandma without thinking of that gravy. And her pies. It's been years since I last made this pie. It's a great finale for any Southern meal. Seems all my favorite childhood memories involve food! How about yours?

Sweet Potato Pie

(Makes one 9-inch pie)

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, gluten-free or regular
2 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups mashed baked sweet potato (the orange kind)
1/2 to 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line a 9-inch glass pie plate with pastry. Set aside; if it's a hot day, put it in the refrigerator.

2 In medium bowl, combine filling ingredients in order given. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for two hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream and, perhaps, a sprinkling of finely chopped toasted pecans.

20 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

For some reason, I can't say 'sweet potato pie' without doing it in a little girl, sing-song voice. Was it part of a jumprope rhyme?? Anyway, the pie looks wonderful and something I definitely need to put in my pie repertoire.

I think most of my childhood memories involve horses and dogs and football and camping (and the one time my mom made lutefisk. Yeeeccccchhhh!!!)

Jean said...

That's funny, Judy! I don't remember it being in a jumprope rhyme, maybe in a song. I'm soooo glad lutefisk isn't one of my childhood memories! (I really did 'laugh out loud' when I read that!)

TheArtistOnTheRoad said...

This sure looks good Jean! I'm going to have to make this sometime soon. What is mace, actually? Is it similar to nutmeg?

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Alas, I am still in my childhood and all I remember is that sweet potatoes make good doorstops. I'm guessing that's before they get mushed into pies. I suspect the original recipe for sweet potato pie came about when someone tried to beat one into submission. But they do look rather good just lying there in a pie shell, sorta imitating pumpkin. I like pumpkin. Think I'll turn into one now…

Jean said...

Thank you! Yes, it is similar to nutmeg, nutmeg being the actual fruit/nut/seed and mace being the outer covering that pulls away from it. A lot of my friends have asked me about it because they've never used it. I grew up with it; don't know, maybe it's an English "thing"?

Jean said...

You are such a child, Sully! What's not to like about a sweet potato! It's a bit different from pumpkin. I make pumpkin pie when I'm thinking of my Pilgrim ancestors who came over on the Mayflower. And sweet potato pie when I'm honoring my ancestors who landed in Virginia about the same time. Both good, but different.

Southerner said...

Where i live in South London there is an Iranian run grocery shop about three hundred yards from my front door. They have an incredible range of vegetables , herbs and spices that you woyld not find in yor general supermarket. Sweet potatoes are one of the the things they sell.
A couple of miles from me is an area called Brixton. It is a vibrant multicultural part of London with a large majority of West Indians. Brixton Market is amazing . The produce they sell there is so exotic. Jean, your creative and imaginative cooking impulses would be on fire!!!!!!!!

Jenn said...

Jean, you have out done yourself, yet again! The pie looks like a thing of beauty!
I love the fact that smells and tastes can catapult us right back to certain times or events in our lives... is one of my favorite things about food!

Jean said...

Tony, I would soooo love to visit the food shops and markets of South London. Your vivid descriptions of places and events always seem to place me "right there"!

Jean said...

Thanks, Jenn! The orange sweet potatoes do make a pretty colored pie, don't they!

Farida said...

That pie looks so sweet and delicious for breakfast with a cup of tea, thanks for share

farida
http://kitchensuperfood.com

Jean said...

Thanks, Farida! I love to have this pie for breakfast (though my husband does not "approve").

eatingRD said...

I think sweet potato pie is one of my absolute favorites! Looks yummy!

Jean said...

Thank you! I hope you'll try one soon.

jessieimproved said...

I love me some sweet potato pie! I guess that comes from being Georgia grown myself. :)

Jean said...

Jessie, thanks! Yep, I think it might be in the genes!

Mrs. Tuna said...

I've never had sweet potato pie and why not say I? I love sweet potatoes. Great now I need to run to the store and by the ingredients.

Jean said...

I hope you will, Mrs. T! And let me know how it turns out for you!

Grant said...

Ok, this one I gotta give a try. I'm intrigued by what it might taste like.

Jean said...

I hope you like it! Some people make it with the pale sweet potatoes, but I've never liked those. Always use the orange-fleshed (usually red-skinned) ones.

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