Need a change from pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving? Your family and guests would probably revolt, but I do have an interesting addition/replacement. Sweet potato pie is very similar to pumpkin pie, but with a texture all it’s own. Also, the taste of the sweet potatoes is very apparent and sweeter than pumpkin, but not in a sugary way. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, with so much flavor, that you barely taste the spices.
This handwritten recipe is from Thanksgiving, 1973. I was teaching second grade in Camden, New Jersey, and all the teachers were preparing a “Thanksgiving feast” for the children. The second grade teachers were in charge of potatoes. I brought in my mom’s recipe for candied yams (the recipe is in the archives), and Audrey brought in sweet potato pies, her grandmother’s recipe. With these two side dishes, the turkey and stuffing were just an aside. Everything was devoured, and I certainly did my part on the sweet potato pies.
I couldn’t wait to get this recipe down on an index card, and file it away in my brand new index file. My collection of recipes was very new and rather sparse in 1973. I treasured this recipe then and I still do now. I can see all the happy, smiling faces on some very grateful second graders.
NOTE* This recipe will make one deep dish pie, or if you add 1 more large sweet potato, you can get 2 shallow pies, without increasing the other ingredients. Also, you can adjust the sugar to taste. I never use the full cup because I like to get the sweetness from the potato.
1 nine inch unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 cups masked cooked (or substitute canned) sweet potatoes. This is usually 2 large sweet potatoes.
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 cup sugar ( I usually use 3/4 cup)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg ( I use a little more)
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, slightly beaten
- Bake sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven for one hour, or until soft. I usually do this day before, just to make it easy.
- Peel and mash with a fork.
- Combine mashed sweet potatoes, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla, and mix until blended. Beat in the eggs.
- Turn into pastry shell.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.