Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie Recipe is a southern staple that's really easy to make. It is the perfect dessert to enjoy during the holidays, or anytime of the year for my sweet potato pie fans out there!
This recipe has been passed around my family for several generations! There is nothing better than the fragrance of all of the sugars and spices baking during the holidays.
- Why we Love Grandma's This Recipe
- Ingredients for Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie
- How to Make the Best Homemade Sweet Potato Pie
- Baked sweet potatoes are best for Grandma's Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
- Ingredient Substitutions for the sweet potato pie filling
- Difference between pumpkin pie and southern sweet potato pie recipe
- How do I know when my homemade sweet potato pie is done?
- Why is my pie runny?
- Tips to keep your crust edges from burning
- Can you make sweet potato pie ahead of time?
- How to store and reheat it
- Can you freeze it?
- Do you put eggs in sweet potato pie?
- More delicious Thanksgiving dishes to try
- 📖 Recipe
Why we Love Grandma's This Recipe
It is so easy to make! You will be surprised at how simple this is to make! Quick and easy steps, along with some pro tips, and you will have a new family recipe to add to your Thanksgiving spread!
You only need few simple ingredients. The main ingredients you will need are dough, or crust. You will need the sweet potato mixture that is made with the sweet potato flesh. Along with some unsalted butter, sugar (brown sugar is preferred over white sugar), cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
It is a fairly inexpensive pie to make: Sweet potatoes are usually very affordable. You can definitely make your pie dough from scratch as well. Making your pie crust from scratch also cuts down on the cost.
Everyday kitchen gadgets are used. The beauty of simple dishes is that you can use stuff you already have in your kitchen. Utensils such as a potato masher, big bowl, baking dish, and sheet pan, are really the main things you need.
Ingredients for Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie
You will need some basic ingredients to make the most delicious black folks sweet potato pie recipe. Here is what you need to gather:
- Eggs: you will need a couple of large eggs. Make sure that they are room temperature. Which means, leave them on the counter for at least 10 minutes prior to using them.
- Dough: You can make your pie crust from scratch, or grab an unbaked pie crust or shell in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. Another option is to buy the boxed unbaked pie crust that you can find near the canned biscuits.
- Sweet potatoes: Grab yourself three medium to large fresh sweet potatoes. You want to make sure that they are healthy and blemish free. You will use the sweet potato flesh after you bake them to make the mixture.
- Sugar and Spices: You will need brown sugar, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger. I know, ginger seems like a very unlikely ingredient, but it adds a little Razzle Dazzle to this!
- Milk: A can of evaporated milk, which equates to a little over 1 cup. Read the substitution section for other milk variations that will work
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best to use for this southern sweet potato pie recipe.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract is a must have ingredient.
How to Make the Best Homemade Sweet Potato Pie
Bake and peel the Potatoes
You will need to poke holes in them, then place them on a baking sheet and bake them for about 15-20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool a bit and peel the skins off of them.
Mix the sweet potato pie filling
After you remove the skins and get the sweet potato flesh into your bowl, you will add all of your other ingredients. Use an electric mixer and mix it on medium speed for about two minutes.
If the sweet potato mixture is still too chunky after a couple minutes, switch the electric mixer from medium speed to high speed and continue mixing for another minute or so. You can also use a potato masher or a blender to get the consistency you want.
For the crust
You can certainly make your pie dough from scratch. Or you can buy unbaked dough and place it in a pie dish. Getting a frozen pie shell is another option.
If making the dough from scratch, flash baking it is necessary. So add pie weights on top of the dough and pre-bake it. The pie weights are used to keep the crust flat and level, and keep it from puffing up during the blind baking process.
Bake the pie
Place your pie dish on a baking sheet, and bake it in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Be sure to tent foil over the edges of the crust so they do not burn (read below for more details)
Baked sweet potatoes are best for Grandma's Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie
Use baked sweet potatoes instead of boiled. Baked sweet potatoes keep all of the flavor, and carry far less liquid.
Boiled yams will carry some of the moisture, and will change the consistency. Be sure to pierce your fresh sweet potatoes with a fork before placing them on a baking sheet in the 350 f oven.
Ingredient Substitutions for the sweet potato pie filling
Substitute the canned evaporated milk for heavy cream, or even whole milk. True southern sweet potato pie is made with evaporated milk though!
You can also use this to make a whipped cream by adding some vanilla and sugar and beating it until it gets the right consistency.
Canned or frozen potatoes
Canned or frozen will work as a substitution for fresh in this recipe. Be sure that you do not get the candied yams in a can. Those will have be in a heavy syrup which will completely change the recipe.
Instead of using brown sugar, you can use white sugar (granulated sugar). Brown sugar is made with molasses, and is a little less sweet. So instead of using 1 cup of white sugar, you will use ¾ cup since it is much sweeter.
Difference between pumpkin pie and southern sweet potato pie recipe
For starters, they are two completely different vegetables. Pumpkins are a squash, whereas sweet potato are a root vegetable. Also, pumpkin is made with a lot more spices.
Pumpkin is pretty bland, so a lot of sugars and spices are necessary to sweeten it up and add flavor to pumpkin pie.
How do I know when my homemade sweet potato pie is done?
The "jiggle test" is the best way to tell if it is cooked all the way through. Use an oven mitt and gently jiggle it back and forth. The center should jiggle just a bit, but not too much.
You can measure the exact doneness by inserting a digital thermometer into the center. It should read between 160 and 180 degrees. It will continue cooking for a bit when it is removed from the oven.
Why is my pie runny?
If there is too much liquid in it, it will not harden during baking. Make sure the consistency is right after you mix the filling. If it is too runny during the mixing process, add a couple tablespoons of flour to tighten it up a bit.
Another reason it may be too runny is because you did not cook it long enough. It needs to bake for at least 45 minutes at 350 f, and up to 1 hour. So place it back in the stove and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Tips to keep your crust edges from burning
Since it has to bake for up to 1 hour, it is important to keep the edges from burning. To do this you will need to lightly tent aluminum foil around the edges of the crust.
Tear off about 1 inch thick pieces of foil, and lightly wrap it around the edges of the crust. Be careful not to press the foil into filling or it will leave a mark during baking. Once it is done baking, discard the foil.
Can you make sweet potato pie ahead of time?
Yes! This is a great dessert to make ahead of time. You can make the filling and fill the pie shell. Then cover the the pie plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Take it out of the refrigerator and make as directed.
Alternatively, you can cook it as directed. Let it cool down completely, the bottom should be cool to the touch. Once it is cooled, wrap it up and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months and take it out for at least one hour before serving.
How to store and reheat it
Once it has cooled down completely, wrap it up real well with plastic wrap. You can also wrap it in aluminum foil. Then you need to place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it again.
If you have an airtight container that will fit the whole pie that will work as well. If not, cut it into individual slices and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Since this has eggs and milk in it, refrigeration is required. Some people prefer cold pie. If you want it warmed up, cut a slice and place on a pie plate and microwave for 20 seconds before serving. Add whipped cream to the top for more deliciousness!
Can you freeze it?
Absolutely! Once you make the pie, let it completely cool down. After it is cool, you will need to wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap. Then wrap a layer of aluminum foil around it. place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do you put eggs in sweet potato pie?
Yes you do. Two room temperature eggs are required for this dessert. It is best to set them out on the counter before you put yams in the oven. This will bring them up to room temperature.
More delicious Thanksgiving dishes to try
- Herb Butter Cornish Hens
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Oven Roasted Chicken
- Southern Peach Cobbler
- Southern Collard Greens
- 1 Pie dough for single crust pie
- 3 medium Sweet potatoes, about 1 ½ pounds
- 12 ounces Evaporated Milk, one can
- 1 cup Brown sugar, dark brown or light brown
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Start by piercing your sweet potatoes with a fork about 10 times all around the sweet potato.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning them over after the first 10 minutes.
- Stab the potatoes with a knife or a fork after 15 minutes to see if they are tender. If the fork goes all the way through with ease, then they are ready to take out.
- Once the sweet potatoes are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cool down.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooling down, get the pie crust ready. If using store bought, follow the instructions on the package to blind bake it prior to filling it.
- Once the potatoes are cool to the touch, us your hands to peel the skins off. They should come off very easily if the sweet potatoes are tender enough.
- Add the sweet potato flesh to a bowl. Next, pour in the evaporated milk, brown sugar, both eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt.
- Use a potato masher or an electric mixer on medium high speed to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Mix for at least two minutes.
- The mixture should be smooth, but may have some small chunks in it, which is okay.
- Set the prebaked pie crust on a baking sheet. Pour the sweet potatoe pie filling into the pre-baked pie crust until it is almost overflowing.
- Lightly tent one inch pieces of foil over the edges of the pie crust so they do not burn during baking.
- Place the pie in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The pie is done when you jiggle it back and forth and it has just a little bit of movement.
- Remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes befor cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dallop of whipped cream!
You can use 1 cup heavy cream in place of evaporated milk.
Use ¾ cup white granulated sugar instead of brown sugar.
Add the ingredients to a blender if you would like to get a super smooth mixture.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.