Roasted sweet potatoes are pureed up with allspice, cream, and eggs to make the filling for my answer to pumpkin pie. And, oh yeah, a dollop of bourbon! You really can’t get more American than a bourbon sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving. All it needs is a good cup of coffee and a spoonful of whipped cream. Yum!
I know that pumpkin pie is The One Fall Pie for a lot of people, but y’all should really give sweet potato pie a chance! Sweet potatoes are easy to find in the supermarket, simple to roast up in the oven, and a quick puree in the food processor solves any stringiness problems, leaving you with a beautiful and smooth filling to pour into the pie pan.
I will admit, though, that I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, for all that it’s often the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dessert line-up, and in our family we’re all about Apple Pie and Chocolate Mousse anyway.
While my lack of interest in pumpkin recipes might be changing, pumpkin will have quite the job to replace my beloved bourbon sweet potato pie. This is a pie I’ve been making for years and I always love it. Sweet potatoes make some excellent pie
For the Crust
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk or heavy cream
- 1 unbaked Flaky Pie Crust (what I used) or All Butter Pie Crust
For the Filling
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar (I recommend dark)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (60ml) bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks(see note)
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, super soft (see note)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes (2 medium/large)
For the Marshmallow Meringue
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
FOR THE PIE:
- Make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out.
- As the pie crust chill, place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan.
- Cover them with water, then bring to a boil on the stovetop.
- Boil for 45-50 minutes, or until super soft.
- While the sweet potato boils, on a floured work surface, roll out one of the disks of chilled dough (use the 2nd pie crust for another recipe or freeze).
- Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.
- Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth.
- To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges.
- Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a nice thick rim around the pie.
- Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges.
- Brush edges with egg wash. Chill the dough in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 15 minutes as you work on the filling– this helps prevent the crust from shrinking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Drain the boiling water and run the potatoes under very cold water.
- The skin should peel off easily at this point.
- Cool for a few minutes until easy to handle.
- Slice the potatoes into a couple large chunks, then place into a mixing bowl.
FOR THE FILLING:
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment (or you can use a blender for this), beat/blend the potatoes on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the remaining filling ingredients and beat/blend on high speed until smooth and combined.
- Spread filling into prepared pie crust.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the center of the pie is only slightly jiggly.
- A toothpick inserted into the center of the pie should come out mostly clean.
- During bake time, if you find the edges of the pie crust are browning too quickly, apply a pie crust shield or a ring of aluminum foil to protect it.
- Remove finished pie from the oven.
- Place on a wire rack to cool completely or for at least 2 hours.
- The pie filling will sink and set as it cools.
FOR THE MERINGUE:
- Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl.
- Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water.
- Do not let it touch the water. (You can use a double boiler if you have one.)
- Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thinned out, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the vanilla extract, then using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high speed for 5 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form.
- Spread marshmallow cream on top of cooled pie.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator uncovered up to 8 hours before serving.
- If desired, toast the marshmallow topping with a kitchen torch just before serving.
- Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.