Indulge in the comforting flavors of a Southern sweet potato pie, a timeless dessert that epitomizes the essence of the South. With its velvety texture and heavenly blend of warm spices, this pie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at any gathering.
This Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe epitomizes the essence of the South
For those occasions when you want a make-ahead dessert, but don’t want it to be overly sweet, or difficult to make or assemble, there is nothing like the comforting flavors of a sweet potato pie. It’s served cold or at room temperature so you have to make it ahead of time. Serve a blueberry self-saucing pudding if you want a simple warm dessert.
Sweet potato pie is a classic dessert that is beloved throughout the South, and for good reason! It’s creamy, sweet, and a real crowd-pleaser. Though similar in texture and flavor to pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie is served all year round, not just during the holiday season. You will see it more often than a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving around here.
It’s an easy pie to make any time of the year, similar to a buttermilk pie, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.
It’s also a great pie to include when you are serving multiple desserts for the holidays because it will compliment other flavors. Try serving it alongside a cherry streusel pie, a peach cobbler, strawberry lemon cake a lemonade pie or a creamy coconut cream pie.
The sweet potatoes have a thicker texture than a pumpkin filling making this an easy pie to slice. This classic Southern sweet potato pie is perfect when served with whipped cream for a slightly sweet and creamy ending to any meal.
What is Southern Sweet Potato Pie?
Baked sweet potatoes are combined with spices, sugar, eggs,cream and butter to create the creamiest custard like filling for the best sweet potato pie recipe around.
You can use a store-bought pie crust, but I really suggest making your own pie crust using this buttery pie crust. It’s worth the extra effort when you bite into the tender, flaky pastry that is hard to duplicate with a store bought crust. However, the filling is so rich and creamy, it can make up for a less than perfect pie crust.
My philosophy is to cut corners where you need to and if the pie crust would keep you from making this pie, then by all means use a store bought pie crust. You could also use a ginger snap cookie crust, just replace graham crackers for ginger snaps in this pie crust recipe.
Why you’ll love this Sweet Potato Pie Recipe (Southern Classic)
- It’s creamy and sweet with a beautiful silky texture.
- It’s easy to put together and can be made ahead of time.
- It will go with any type of meal.
- Simple ingredients.
- Sweet potatoes are always available
Southern Sweet Potato Pie Recipe ingredients
- Sweet Potatoes – Fresh sweet potatoes are the star of this classic Southern dessert. The size doesn’t matter much as long as you have enough to get 2 cups mashed once they’re cooked, that is generally about 2-3 sweet potatoes.
- Spices – Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are classic warm spices for pies and pair beautifully with the flavor of the sweet potato.
- Orange Zest – Orange zest provides brightness and a citrus aroma that plays perfectly with the other flavors in this dessert.
- Half-and-Half – The fattiness of the half-and-half brings flavor and creaminess to the filling. You can use heavy cream to make it even creamier.
- Eggs – Eggs bind the filling together creating a custard like texture.
- Pantry Staples – Butter, vanilla, salt, brown sugar.
- Pie Crust – For a flaky pie crust, make your own with butter. You can also use a store bought pie crust.
Why use sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are the perfect filling for a pie. They’re a little starchy, sweet, and have a mild flavor. They’re a tradition in the South and can be found in so many types recipes other than traditional sweet potato casseroles.
Can I use pumpkin pie spice in this recipe?
This recipe calls for cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Many pre-mixed pumpkin pie spices include these spices as well as allspice and cloves. If you prefer, you can use a store-bought pumpkin spice blend. It will just add a different flavor to the final dish.
How to make Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Step 1: Prepare the crust.
Whether you use a store-bought crust or a homemade one, place the crust into a pie pan. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and add in pie weights, uncooked rice, or dry beans. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the weights and parchment, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
How to prepare sweet potatoes for Sweet Potato Pie (Southern Recipe)
The easiest way to prepare sweet potatoes for a pie is to use the microwave. You can find all the details on how to microwave sweet potatoes. I don’t recommend boiling them, since it can cause them to become a bit waterlogged. Whatever method you choose, make sure to cook the sweet potatoes thoroughly and let them cool completely.
Step 2: Prepare the sweet potatoes.
Microwave or roast the sweet potatoes until soft. Allow them to cool, then peel and beat the potatoes until very smooth with a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
Step 3: Mix the sweet potato filling.
Add in softened butter and beat until smooth. Then add the eggs, spices, orange zest, and brown sugar and mix until fully combined. Finally, stir in the vanilla and half and half.
Step 4: Assemble the pie.
Pour the sweet potato pie filling into the prepared pie crust and bake until the center of the pie is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Serve with whipped cream on top.
Pro Tip: If you want pretty swirls of whipped cream or just want it to keep its form for a few day, learn how you can easily stabilize whipped cream.
Tips for making Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
- Cook the sweet potatoes until they are cooked throughout. This will create the smooth and creamy texture you want in a sweet potato pie.
- The pie crust must be pre-baked (also called a blind baking) to ensure the bottom of the crust doesn’t get too soggy.
- When baking, check on the pie about 20 minutes after you place it into the oven. If the crust looks like it is getting too brown, cover the pie shell with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.
How to serve Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie is best served at room temperature or cold with whipped cream on top.
How to store Sweet Potato Pie
Place slices of the pie into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for five days. It can be served both cold and at room temperature.
Can I freeze Sweet Potato Pie?
You can also freeze this pie in an airtight container for about 2-3 months.
Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie Recipe FAQs
Can I make homemade sweet potato pie ahead of time?
Yes, this pie can be made in advance. Once it has cooled completely, cover the pie in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. If not serving within a day, then freeze it so the crust does not get soggy.
Do I have to pre-bake the pie crust?
For most creamy pies, like a lemon chess pie and this sweet potato pie, if you don’t blind bake the crust, the bottom will get soggy. For the best texture, it’s best to blind bake the crust. However, it’s not necessary. If you are short on time, you will still get a flaky crust if you don’t pre-bake it, in fact a lot of people don’t pre-bake the pie crust. It’s a personal preference.
Does Sweet Potato Pie need to be refrigerated?
Since a sweet potato pie contains eggs and cream, it should be refrigerated.
Why is my sweet potato pie dry?
Sweet potato pie will not be dry unless you overcook it. Remove from the oven when the center no longer jiggles.
What is the difference between sweet potatoes and yam pies?
Sweet potatoes and yams are two different vegetables. Yams have a white flesh and have a starchy texture similar to a russet potato. Sweet potatoes are sweeter and have a creamier orange flesh. You would not want to use yams to make a sweet potato pie.
Can you freeze Sweet Potato Pie filling?
You can freeze the filling for a sweet potato pie, just let it thaw completely before pouring into the pie shell.
More Sweet Potato Recipes to try
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Sweet Potato Pie Recipe (Southern Classic)
- 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes 2-3 medium potatoes
- ½ cup butter 1 stick, softened
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup half-and-half
- Pie plate
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Cover a prepared pie crust with parchment paper and add weights. Bake for 20 minutes, remove parchment paper and weights and cook an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.
- Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave or oven. Let cool and remove the skins, Place 2 ups of cooked sweet potatoes in the bowl of a mixer.
- Beat the sweet potatoes until smooth then add the softened butter and mix to combine. Add eggs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and orange zest and mix to combine.
- Add vanilla and slowly add the half-and-half so that it doesn’t splash out of the bowl. Mix until combined.
- Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is set. Check on the crust after 20 minutes and if it is starting to get too brown cover the crust with foil.
- Cool completely before serving.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can use a prepared pie crust but it will still need to be partially baked.
- You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate for 1-2 days or freeze until ready to serve.
- Make sure the center is set and no longer jiggly before removing from the oven.