sweet potato pie

On Saturday, we dug the sweet potatoes.

I should clarify. My husband dug the potatoes, I snapped photos (the light was superb), and the kids picked the occasional potato and a basket of worms.

Then they fed the worms to the chickens.

The chickens were pretty keen on the whole worm business, though sometimes they got confused and tried to eat a finger.

For a couple weeks now, I’ve been begging my husband to dig the potatoes.

It’s not like I couldn’t do it, of course—I just wanted him to. I’ll pick up the plants from the greenhouse, water and weed them, and cook them all up into yummy food, just don’t make me dig them.

After digging them, “we” rinsed them off and set them to cure in the barn.

In a couple weeks, once their skins are thoroughly dry, we’ll wrap them in newspapers and store them in an upstairs closet. Potatoes all winter long, yay!

The main reason I wanted my husband to dig the potatoes was because I had pie on the brain. I wanted a sweet potato pie. I needed a sweet potato pie.

from the first time

I made a sweet potato pie last month. It was my first ever, I think, and I loved it. It was destined for the blog, I knew, but I wanted to make it again, just to be sure. And I wanted to experiment with cutting back on the sugar just a little. Plus, new recipes have been a little sparse around here lately and I miss ‘em. My cooking juice has boiled dry. The pot needed freshening, and sweet potato pie was my way back to you, babe(s).

But look, it’s Wednesday (four whole days after Saturday) and I’ve just now gotten around to making the pie. I fully blame the whopper of a cold that hit me upside the head and turned all my nose fluids to water. You can’t get much done when you have to stop every thirty seconds to honk your snozz and wash your hands, even when you try to streamline things by draping a cloth diaper over your head for easy nose wipe-age.

But I persevered!

I roasted the sweet potatoes on Monday … and then went on a walk in the rain with my sister-in-law, during which we expounded upon the marvels of the sweet potato (they’re so easy to grow! they go in anything! salads! stews! curries! pies! cookies! mash ‘em! fry ‘em! bake ‘em!) so that by the end we had pretty much decided we were never going to plant a boring old white potato again (okay, so we’ll still plant a few).

I made the pastry on Tuesday, and then pulled it all together on Wednesday, today, real quick first thing while the Ibuprofen and caffeine were still coursing through my veins.

I burned it, too.

But oh well. It still got rave reviews. The spice combo is perfect: ground coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, and all that vanilla, and the earthy, sweet potato flavor shines through. So decadent and filling and comforting.

It’s a good pie to have for breakfast, or to eat out of hand after coming home from a hard day of roofing, or to top with a cap of whipped cream.

Give it a go. I bet you’ll love it.

P.S. My new about page is up and running, whee!

Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from Joy the Baker

I used roasted sweet potatoes, but you can cook them anyway you please. Just make sure you mash them so there are no lumpies—my handheld electric beaters did the trick just fine. I also reduced the sugar by a quarter cup.

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
10 ounces evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ recipe rich butter crust in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan, crimped, and refrigerated

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the sweet potato puree, brown sugar, and spices and heat till warm. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the milk, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla. (A hand-held immersion blender works like a charm.)

Pour the pie filling into the pie shell (but first taste it—wouldn’t this make a fabulous ice cream?) and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 325 degrees and baking for another 40-60 minutes until the center is puffed, making sure to cover the edges with foil if they’re threatening to burn.

Cool for at least an hour before serving.

This same time, years previous: the morning kitchen, signs, news, and daydreams


  • Mavis

    Oh JJ… I don't know what to say. I LOVE your new about me page. I see a lot of my self on that page as well as MY HUSBAND.

    You make me laugh and I wish we were neighbors.

    🙂 Mavis

  • Anna

    Ever try sweet potato greens? My Taiwanese friend cooked some up for me. Pick off the tender shoots and leaves and stir fry with a little garlic and a generous pinch of salt, or you can boil, drain, and toss with oyster sauce. So good! Beats spinach any day and it's there all through the hot summer when all the other greens have bolted. Here in Japan we eat the stems but I'm not such a big fan.

  • Kris

    Ooo, I love coriander. I may just have to try that in sweet potato pie or custard one of these days. Or maybe coriander encrusted roasted sweet potato wedges?

    The sweet potato pie I would have brought to your pie party (if it had suited my schedule to come) does not have coriander but it DOES have other very yummy ingredients. You should think about that for a while. Another very yummy sweet potato pie….tempting you yet?

  • Margo

    haha – the sweet potato pie I was taught to make in Georgia had a whole stick of butter in it. And sugar. I once watched the cook dump half the sugar canister in a jug of lemonade made from that sweetened powder. I nearly passed out.
    But I would be happy to try your recipe!

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