Sweet potato pie is one of the glories of Southern cooking. The best ones really taste like sweet potato instead of pumpkin, which happens a result of pumpkin pie spice (ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc.). A little nutmeg and some brown sugar are really all you need to bring out the best in the spuds. You’ll need:
1 recipe pie crust for a single-crust pie
about 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes cut into chunks
1 cup sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) very soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Prepare the pie dough according to directions, a day ahead of time if you prefer. Roll and rest the dough according to the directions here.
Next, steam the sweet potato. Fill a saucepan with a steamer insert with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Steam the sweet potato pieces until they’re easily pierced with a fork. Allow them to cool completely.
When you’re ready to make your pie, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pre-bake your crust like so.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the cooked potatoes in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat them until they’re completely mashed. Remove any strings you see. You’ll need between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of the mashed potato. Beat in the butter and the sugar, then the eggs one at a time, the vanilla, bourbon, salt and spices, and lastly the milk.
When the crust is lightly browned, take it out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the brown sugar on the hot crust and gently pour in the filling. Bake the pie 40-50 minutes and cool it completely on a rack for 2 hours before serving.