Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie (African)

From A World of Good Tastes! A Classroom Cooking Manual

California Department of Education, Sacramento, 2011

By Georgeanne Brennan and Ann M. Evans

Estimated Time: Hands On – 1 hour 10 minutes; Demonstration – 1 hour

Sweet potatoes, also called yams, are a New World tuber originally cultivated by Mayan and Peruvian Indians. Some sweet potatoes, those with moist orange flesh, are mistakenly called yams, but the true yam belongs to a completely different species, grows in the tropics and is native to Africa. Very early, the sweet potato spread to Polynesia, and later the Spanish colonizers introduced it to Europe. From there it spread to virtually the rest of the world. In the United States it is closely associated with African-American and southern cooking, and it used both as a savory and a sweet. Sweet Potato Pie is a classic dish that shows off the inherent sweet flavor and smooth texture of the tuber.


2 large, red skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, baked

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

¾ – 1 cup sugar

3 eggs

Zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon or ground cinnamon

1 9-inch pie shell homemade or purchased, unbaked

Preheat an oven to 425º F.


Scoop out the meat of the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Measure 2 cups and set aside.


In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with the back of a wooden spoon or with an electric mixture until thoroughly blended. Beat the sweet potatoes into the butter mixture to thoroughly blend. Beat in the eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each. Stir in the zest, juice, and cinnamon. If a homemade pie crust, roll to ¼-inch thick and 10-1/2 inches in diameter and line a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp and trim the edges. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.


Bake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350º F. Bake until the filling has puffed and is golden on the edges, 20 to 30 minutes more. Remove and let stand for a minimum of 15 minutes to set before cutting into slices. Serve warm, at room temperature or slightly chilled.


Serves 8