Sweet Potato Pie

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes one 9- or 9½ inch pie; serves about


Appears in

This is the basic Southern-style sweet potato pie—smooth, subtle and with plenty of sweet potato flavor. It has been freely adapted from a recipe in Cookery of the Old South, a handwritten book “translated from Southern lore” by Kay Burdette in 1938.

In the original recipe, the egg whites were beaten and then folded into the filling. I’ve simplified the recipe, using whole eggs for a smoother, more custardy texture.


  • Basic Pie Dough for a 1-crust pie
  • 2 cups cooked sieved sweet potatoes (usually 3-4 medium-size, about pounds; see note)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or a mixture of cream and milk
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh-grated nutmeg
  • Whipped cream, flavored with sherry and chopped pecans, if you like, for serving


  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large circle about inch thick. Fit it, without stretching, into a buttered 9- or 9½-inch pie pan. Trim off the excess dough, leaving a ¾-inch overhang. Fold under the edge of the dough, pressing along the rim of the pan and forming a high fluted border. Line the pie shell with a sheet of buttered foil, buttered side down, and chill while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third.
  2. Bake the pie shell until the sides are set, about 8 minutes. Gently remove the foil. Continue to bake, pricking any air bubbles with a fork, until the crust is just beginning to color but has not yet baked all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Set the pie shell aside; leave the oven on.
  3. With an electric mixer at medium speed or with a whisk, combine the sweet potatoes, eggs, brown sugar, citrus juices, cream, butter and spices until very smooth. Pour the mixture into the warm, partially baked shell.
  4. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, and continue to bake until the pie is set but the center is still slightly wobbly, 20 to 30 minutes longer. (The timing can vary based on the depth of the pie pan; do not overbake.)
  5. Cool the pie on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature, with the flavored whipped cream.