Monday, November 23, 2009

Sweet Potato Pie

This is another one for Eileen, who requested some diabetic-friendly holiday pie recipes. She requested pumpkin pie, but I decided to go with sweet potato, because they are naturally sweeter than pumpkin, so you don't need to add much additional sweetener to the pie.

I looked at several recipes online, but in the end decided to go my own way.

This is an unbelievable pie. It is so much better than any pumpkin pie I've ever had, and I really love pumpkin pie. It is smooth and creamy, flavored with warm Fall spices, just sweet enough, delicate yet rustic, and oh so easy to make. The scent of it is enough to make you want to devour the whole thing, and when you actually take a bite you're done for.

Most recipes for sweet potato pie will have you boil the sweets before mashing them and then add lots of sugar. That seems silly to me when you can bake them, enhancing their natural sweetness (not to mention their flavor).

I used a no-roll crust again to make this pie especially user-friendly, though I tweaked it a bit from the last time I used it and I think it is even more flavorful this way.

I made two mini pies this time around, but this is will certainly be sitting on my family's Thanksgiving table in full-size form.

Sweet Potato Pie with No-Roll Crust

No-Roll Whole Wheat Crust
adapted from Joy the Baker

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter, frozen
1/4 cup ghee*, melted
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons cold milk

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking powder. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. Add the cream cheese, and using your fingers, rub the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until they are well-incorporated, and there are butter bits of various sizes. Whisk milk and melted ghee together in a small bowl (it's okay if the ghee seizes and hardens) pour over flour/butter mixture. Toss together with a fork until all of the flour is moistened - it need not form a ball. Dump into a prepared pie plate and using your fingers, evenly press dough into the plate. Place in freezer while you make the filling. Preheat oven to 400.

*Ghee is clarified butter. It is incredibly easy to make, but if you don't have any, can't get any or don't want to make any, you can use any other mild-flavored oil.

Sweet Potato Filling

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup palm sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400. Wash but do not peel sweet potatoes, and pierce them a few times with a fork. Place sweets directly on middle oven rack, with a baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake for about an hour, or until the sweet potato is very soft and the skin has become separated from the meat. Remove sweets to a rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin (this should be quite easy) and place the sweet potatoes in a fine mesh sieve. They should have developed a sticky caramelized coating under the skin. Press through the sieve (fingers work well for this) and measure out 2 cups of it. It should be completely smooth, with no strings or clumps. Add palm sugar and spices, whisk until incorporated. Add heavy cream and whisk until smooth. At this point, you can taste the filling to see if you need to adjust anything. Keep in mind that it will be slightly diluted by the eggs that haven't been added yet, so all of the flavors should be a bit stronger at this point than you want them to be in the final product. Depending on the sweetness of your sweet potatoes (and your personal preferences) you may need to add a bit more palm sugar. I don't like terribly sweet desserts, so this was perfect for me. When everything is to your liking, add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

Pour filling into prepared pie crust, smooth the top and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the filling puffs and is set in the center. You can test this by jiggling the pie plate, or by pressing on the top of the pie gently with your fingertips.


  1. Your pie looks awesome Sarah! I don't know if I've ever had sweet potato pie but I love sweet potatoes so I imagine I'd be a fan. Cute pie plates! I just picked up a few minis myself so maybe I'll make myself a mini to give this a try!

  2. Beautiful pie. I will have to try that crust. Sounds too simple. Love sp pies.

  3. oh this looks delicious! my mom is slightly diabetic (has to watch her sugar in take). This recipe will be perfect. I might try it with a spelt crust as I don't do well with a lot of wheat. thanks for sharing!

  4. June, I think spelt would work wonderfully! I actually intended to make this with spelt, but didn't realize I was out of spelt flour until it was too late... I'l love to see your results!

  5. Sarah, your pie looks delicious! I love the top photo--perfect! Will have to give that crust a try!

  6. Love the way that pie looks - very tempting indeed, and I love me some pumpkin pie. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite all around foods and I can't believe that 28 years in the South and I've never made a sweet potato pie.

  7. Sweet potato is a favorite of mine. I also use it to be an alternative because it is sweeter. Thanks for the recipe of the pie. It looks great.

  8. I made this pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'm hooked!! I substituted honey for the sugar, and it worked great. Thanks for a delicious recipe :)

  9. Katie,
    I'm so happy to hear that this pie was a hit!


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