“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” – David Mamet
Today we are talking sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are a naturally sweet vegetable making it great for dessert making. One of my moms best homemade desserts was sweet potato pie. This holiday favorite was a staple of our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
Now my mom being a southern girl from Clarksville Tennessee came to Dayton during the great migration to the North. And she brought her mother’s southern cooking with her.
Now I would watch momma with particular interest as she made the sweet potato pie.
The peeling, the mashing of the potatoes. The mixing in of butter and evaporated milk. Then she’d add in sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg. She’d use the electric mixer to whip the ingredients together into a smooth creamy orange filling.
She’d pull out the Pillsbury pre made crust, pour the filling into the crust and then into the oven it went. Forever later, more like a hour but forever to me, the pie emerged from the oven and was sat on the counter to cool. In a few hours after a delicious dinner momma would present the pie and serve a slice of the precious to everyone there. She would make a minimum of two pies sometimes three as my brother would eat a whole one by himself. It was absolutely the best part of the day.
So now as a reformed dessert maker I attempted to make a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving 2020.
Using my recipe finding technique of easy to do, simple ingredients, a dessert I would eat repeatedly and highly rated or made by a highly regarded chef, I reviewed a ton of recipes.
And when I tell you sweet potato pie is no longer the simple recipe my mother made but varies in so many ways. There are so many. There are the classic pies, then there are pies with nuts, pies with white and brown sugars, pies with liquor and pies layered whip cream.
Despite the many choices I finally landed on a very classic sweet potato pie with a modern twist made by newfound online best friend baker Jocelyn Delk Adams (she doesn’t know she’s my best cooking friend but she is). I am an ardent supporter and follower of Adams. Her online site Grandbaby Cakes is one of my go to sites for Sunday Dinner. I’ve had so much success with her recipes that I bought her cookbook which is named after her website.
Her pie is classic in that it has all the typical ingredients sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, cinnamon, etc but the twist comes in with the use of butter milk and corn syrup. Can you say game changer. Of all the recipes I looked at, this was the only one I came across with these unique ingredients.
When I served her pie the first time, my son was literally like we finally have our own good sweet potato pie. No more buying other people’s pies we had our own. Thank you Jocelyn for this awesome recipe.
Now I told you about all the types of sweet potato pies I came across. There is one kind of sweet potato pie that I dare not attempt as a baker because of its complexity. However a seasoned baker like my sister approached the challenge like the seasoned cook she is.
My sister is a retired Sargent of the Marine Corp, a licensed social worker, home decorator and a mother and of course when the spirit hits which is a lot less these days she is a great cook and baker.
In a recent conversation she and I talked cooking, dessert making and how she mastered the making of the sweet potato pie cheesecake.
Tune into to the episode to hear how she made her sweet potato pie cheesecake.