I've made countless pumpkin pies over the years, but this was my first dance with a sweet potato version. I was expecting it to be nearly identical to all the squash pies I've made over the years, and while it looks just like a pumpkin pie, and has a similar texture, in many ways this is an entirely different beast. For me, this darling was head and shoulders above any pumpkin pie I've ever made, and in fact, now that I've found this recipe I'm not sure I'll ever go back to the pumpkin pies of my youth.
Some of this pie love may be due to the fact that I've always made pumpkin pies with canned pumpkin puree, whereas this pie was made from scratch by baking whole sweet potatoes. Or perhaps it's more to do with the spices used to enhance the flavor of the filling, most importantly cardamom, mace and blackstrap molasses. Maybe it was the sinfully simple press-in crust made with melted butter and brown sugar. Whatever the reason, this pie is deliriously good, dense and flavorful, yet light on the palate. Topped with a flourish of whipped cream, it is the perfect taste of Autumn.
Yeah….if you're looking to add a little delirium to your day, you've come to the right place. Time to get baking.
Cheers – Steve
for the filling:
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (1 or 2 depending on size), or 2 cups canned sweet potato puree
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
for the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
for the crust:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly drizzle in the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks moist and crumbly.
- Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. You can crimp the edges decoratively or leave them rustic. Pop the crust into the fridge to cool slightly while the oven warms.
- Heat the oven to 350℉.
- When the oven reaches temperature, pull the crust from the fridge, line it with foil or parchment and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before filling.
for the filling:
- Heat the oven to 400℉ if using whole potatoes, or 350℉ if using canned puree. Adjust the rack to the middle setting.
- If using whole potatoes, wrap them in foil and bake for 40-80 minutes depending on size, until fork tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 350℉. Unwrap the potatoes and slip them from their skins. Measure our roughly 2 cups of flesh and place in a bowl, mash with a fork until smooth.
- Add the cream, eggs and molasses to the sweet potatoes and whisk until smooth.
- In another bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, cardamom, cloves, mace, ginger, and salt. Add to the sweet potato mixture and stir until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the filling is firm around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center when you gently shake the pie plate. The filling will continue to firm up as it cools. Let cool completely.
- Serve with whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg if desired. The pie is best the day it is made, but will be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.