Sweet potato pie is a traditional dessert, originating in the Southern United States. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving, and is similar in many ways to pumpkin pie. Marshmallows are sometimes added as a topping, but this was adopted more in the Northern United States than in the South.
It is usually made as a large tart in an open pie shell without a top crust. The filling consists of mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar and eggs, flavored with spices such as nutmeg. Other possible ingredients include vanilla or banana extracts. The baked custard filling may vary from a light and silky to dense, depending on the recipe's ratio of mashed potato, milk and eggs.
Though creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe, sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days. Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was likely developed by African-American slaves from traditional African cuisine, making it a staple of soul food today. Recipes for sweet potato pie first appeared in printed cookbooks in the 18th century, where it was included with savory vegetable dishes. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was more commonly classified as a dessert.
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Maple whipped cream, optional, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into sweet potatoes. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.
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