Down South Sweet Potato Pie

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It occurred to us to wonder…how much difference might there be between pies made with pumpkin, butternut squash, garnet yam and sweet potato? The answer: Not much. In our tests, yams had the best color & texture–very orange and smooth & creamy. Butternut squash had the best flavor–more mild than pumpkin–and less-sticky with a smoother top than the sweet potato pies which cracked on top. But really, all of the fillings worked well using some variation of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with sugar, corn syrup, milk and eggs. This fine sweet potato pie recipe is based on a 1951 Pillsbury Grand National winning entry from Mrs. Leon Lenkoff of Louisville, KY.

Makes 2, 9-inch pies

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted cultured butter, icy cold
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, icy cold
  • water as needed (about 1 Tbsp)

Sweet Potato Filling Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups baked sweet potatoes (skins and fibers removed,) whipped
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans for topping pies (optional)

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 cup lightly sweetened whipped cream as garnish


  1. Make crust: Sift flour, salt and sugar together. In a food processor, add fat in 1 Tbsp chunks. Pulse until dough clumps and forms lumps. Add the rest of the flour and process 1 more minute. Remove pastry to a bowl and sprinkle with water. Working with light hands, gather the dough together into two balls. Plop these on two pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap and flatten the balls into 5-inch disks. Chill in the fridge until firm (at least 1/2 hour.)
  2. Make pie filling: Blend eggs, sweet potatoes, sugar and syrup well. Sift in salt, and spices. Blend. Mix in milk.
  3. Spread counter with two large, overlapping pieces of plastic wrap. Place a disk of chilled pie dough on the center of the wrap. Cover with two more large, overlapping pieces of plastic wrap. Roll dough out to 11-inch circle. Remove top plastic sheets; invert pastry into pie plate, easing it in and lightly pressing out any air pockets. Form a decorative stand-up rim of pastry. Repeat again with second pie-dough disk, rolling it out and placing in second pie plate. Pour filling into pie crusts. Sprinkle with pecans, if using. Bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes until filling is firm. Cool. Serve with lightly-sweetened whipped cream as garnish.

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