Tuesday, December 17

Sweet Potato (yam) pie

This is a recipe from Susan Van Heemst

This is really a Southern (US) specialty which I grew up with .  For some parts of the world, the idea of using a sweet potato (or pumpkins) in a dessert is completely foreign.  They imagine some odd vegetable flavor which they do not want.  That is so not the case with this pie.  There is no hint of a vegetable or something that is "good for you".

It is a creamy, smooth burst of autumn flavors that comes in a velvety custard form.  Super easy to make as well which is a bonus!  It is easy to adapt to non-dairy and gluten free by choosing a gluten free crust and subbing in a non-cow milk and cream.

One note:  A few countries do carry canned sweet potatoes/yams, but many do not.. including Holland.  The canned varieties would work (drained), but it is not difficult to prepare it from scratch.  There are instructions below for using fresh.


  • 1 lb. around 450gram of cooked sweet potato, cooled to room temperature *
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (60gram), melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) coconut/palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (I used medium), room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) milk (room temperature)**
  • 3 Tbs. (44ml) heavy cream***,room temperature
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (9inch/23cm) ****


  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
  2. In a stand mixer or food processor (I used a food processor), blender, or in a bowl with an electric mixer... add cooled sweet potato and blend until smooth.  
  3. Add in melted butter and sugar and blend until well combined.  
  4. Add in milk and cream and blend together.
  5. Add salt, spices, and eggs and then blend together until creamy.
  6. Pour creamy mixture into unbaked pie shell (to about 3/4 full).
  7. Bake at 400F/200C for 15 mins. One tip: I use a piece of aluminium foil to lightly cover the crust for the first 15 mins. to prevent overbrowning, but optional.
  8. After 15 mins. remove foil (if used) and lower temperature to 350F/175C and baked for another 40-50 mins. until just set.  It should not be giggly, but not cracked.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to sit on a cooling rack until room temperature.
  10. Allow to set in the fridge overnight before serving to allow it to set completely.
  11. Great served with cinnamon whipped cream.

*Using Fresh yams/sweet potatoes:
For best results, get 2-3 large sweet potatoes/yams (I prefer the orange fleshed ones as they are naturally the sweetest).  Give them a good scrub in water and pat them dry.  
Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (400F/200C) for about 40 mins or until soft.  
Allow to cool and then peel away skin and use in this recipe, a savory recipe, etc.  The skin comes easily away from the flesh. I prefer the oven method to boiling as boiling them can make them more waterlogged and they will have less flavor.

**You can also sub in evaporated milk (koffiemelk in Holland), coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk.

***You can also sub in alternative creams like cooking creams, soy cream but they do have a lower fat content.  If you chill coconut milk, you can use the thick, creamy part as a great sub for heavy cream as well.

**** We use a standard flakey pie crust recipe.  You can use pre-made if available in your country.  If you do not have a recipe, let me know and I can post the one we use.


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