I grew up in the north but have lived in the upper south for about 30 years.
When someone first served me a piece of sweet potato pie, having been a real pumpkin pie fanatic, I could not imagine anyone making a pie out of this vegetable and wasn't sure I'd like it.
Now, I can't imagine Thanksgiving or Christmas without it and wouldn't eat a piece of dull, dusty tasting pumpkin pie if you paid me.
Sweet potato pie is so much more flavorful and more nutritious. However, the secret to making a REALLY GOOD SWEET POTATO PIE is not to boil the potatoes! Baking the potatoes allows the natural sugars in the potato to caramelize, producing a much tastier, richer flavor.
Here's my recipe for a smallish pie.
• 1 pound of sweet potatoes
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup white sugar (I've used 3/4 raw sugar and it tastes even better!)
• 1/2 cup cream or half and half
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (some use allspice as well)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1. Pierce and bake the sweet potatoes as though they are baking potatoes, in their skins, on a cookie sheet, for about an hour in a preheated oven set to about 325.
2. When cooled, remove the skins and discard them and place the flesh in a medium sized bowl. Add butter and mix well with a mixer on low speed. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle and then sink down as it cools.