Sweet Potato Pie

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A few years ago I became somewhat obsessed with pie. Perfect all-butter pie crusts, to be exact. With all the trouble they gave me, I could not understand where the saying "easy as pie" came from. "Cookies are easy!" I would rant as crust after crust flopped. "Pie is problematic!" Then a friend introduced me to his pie-making genius friend. Jane let me watch her make a pie one summer, and my life in the kitchen has never been the same. She told me a good crust requires the baker to be three things: bold, respectful and casual. Bold and respectful go hand in hand - one has to be both quick and confident about the process, while also treating the crust gently. The notion of being casual was downright liberating. I gave up striving for the perfect pie, and started making good-enough pies. They aren?t perfectly beautiful every time, but they are delicious and very low stress. My family thinks it's a good trade.

I have been tinkering with my sweet potato recipe for nearly a decade. This is the version I like best.

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 c. flour (all purpose or a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat pastry)
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 7 T. butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 c. soured milk (use soured milk or add 1 t. vinegar to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes)

Pulse the first three ingredients in a food processor or cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives. Add the milk a little at a time, adding just enough so that the mixture can be gathered into a ball.

Flour the counter well. Form the dough into a disc and cut into fourths. Take a quarter of the dough and in one motion smear it into the counter with the heel of your hand. Do this for each quarter and then re-form into one ball. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and roll out the dough, place in pie plate, and trim and crimp top edge as usual. Put in a plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to bake.


  • 3 medium-large sweet potatoes, baked at 350 degrees until tender and mostly cooled
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 4 small eggs
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1 T. molasses
  • 1 c. whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel and mash enough of the sweet potatoes to get 2 cups. Mix the rest of the ingredients in the food processor or hand mixer, to a smooth, creamy consistency, adding the milk last.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake in the lower third of the oven for 50 minutes or until the middle is just set. Check after 25 minutes: if the crust is darkening too quickly, cut three 4" wide strips of aluminum foil and fold them around the crust to protect it from burning while the filling cooks.

Cool and serve plain or with whipped cream.

By: Sharron Ratcliff | Nov 3, 2018 02:30 AM | Permalink
ok; I tried the sweet potato pie and pie crust recipe. Pies have always been a challenge for me and especially pie crust. over the years I must of tried a hundred and to no avail. But tonight was better. At least you could eat the pie. I will practice again this week on the crust. Mine was a little tough, but believe me it was not the recipe, it was the operator and',we will be eating more pie Thank you so much for the recipe

By: | Nov 22, 2014 12:29 PM | Permalink
This is great!! I have tried many recipes and gave up on making pie crusts. Now I am in a fundraising challenge with a few blind men as to who makes the best sweet potatoe pie. One of them asked me how I make my crust, and I said I get a certain store brand. They quickly said that they may have to vote for the other person. (Menfolk and their trash talk.) This recipe has inspired me to try again to make a pie crust.

Thank you!!

Now the trash talking will really begin! ;)

Ms Anacostia

'Blind Seniors do it Too!'

By: ray balcom | Nov 21, 2014 03:29 AM | Permalink
Forget the sour milk in the crust....here is my recipe All organic....! Whole. Flour... Sour creme Butter Ground pecans Sweeten with raw sugar Cinnamon and nutmeg(lightly) The crust comes out perfect every time....

Use Tahiti squash or any squash that is sweet and has lots of color Eggs, real cream.....just blend.....

I usually follow betty Crocker to get the balance right... but cut the sugar by at least on third

This is a pumpkin pie to die for......

By: | Nov 20, 2014 09:11 PM | Permalink
What luck! Needed a recipe for sweet potato pie for tomorrow. Can't wait to try this.

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