Sweet potato pie is relatively new to my Thanksgiving repertoire. I grew up with pumpkin pie for the holiday and, to be frank, I never really dug it. It was pretty much bland and boring in my book. However, years ago when I began dating my, now, husband and had Thanksgiving with his family, I delighted on an entirely different Thanksgiving feast: greens, black eyed peas, corn bread dressing, macaroni and cheese, and yes, the consummate of Soul Food desserts – sweet potato pie.
The bold nutmeg, cinnamon and sweet potatoes won me and my momma over instantly. Since then, I’ve been making sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving. I’ve tweaked my recipe over the last several years. It’s almost home-made (I buy a lovely frozen crust). Actually, it’s more like six because I bake enough pies to share with my large, extended family across two states. I can make pie crust from scratch, but why? Sometimes in life, shortcuts are worth it. I’d rather go for a walk than sweat the small stuff, especially with the stress and extra calories that come with the holidays.
This is an easy recipe, it just takes a couple of hours to do the boiling and baking. Don’t worry, you don’t have to hover over the stove, you can multi-task with this one. Don’t be tempted to buy the canned puree; that short cut is not worth it.
And, one more thing, this pie is damn good! There’s never a leftover, except for a few crumbs, if even that. This year, I’m topping it with home-made vanilla whipped cream and an extra dash of nutmeg. Note at our house, we enjoy sweet potato pie beyond Thanksgiving and the holidays, it’s delicious with a hot cup of tea, chai or coffee. I like mine room temperature and the husband likes his cold.
Tidbits on Sweet Potatoes
- There is some confusion between sweet potatoes and yams, particularly in the U.S. In American grocery stores, what are marked and we understand to be “yams,” including the garnet and jewel varieties, are actually sweet potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes spoil quite easily, especially when bruised and wet. Keep them fresh for weeks by storing them in a cool dry place like a pantry or cellar. Do not wash before storing since moisture speeds up spoiling. Do not refrigerate as well.