This homemade Southern Sweet Potato Pie is creamy and sweetened with pure cane syrup --- which is the only way to make a true Southern version of this decadent pie. A bold claim, I know.
Along with the pure cane syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg help to bring everything together.
This is a classic recipe that has been handed down in my family for many years. I've been following my grandmother's version for a while now and really haven't made any tweaks to it. It's true to how I enjoyed it growing up.
Although I only make this recipe around the holidays, it is really a great option for any time of the year. And the great thing about sweet potatoes is you can find them year-round.
Ingredients you'll need:
- Sweet potatoes are the foundation of this recipe. Three sweet potatoes will make two whole 8- or 9-inch pies. Use any leftovers in my Sweet Potato Pancakes.
- Steen's pure cane syrup is my go-to. This thick caramel–flavored syrup is a natural sweetener and adds a ton of richness to this dessert. You'll need both sugar and brown sugar for additional sweetness.
- The typical spice trio of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg are the perfect compliments. No other spices are better for the season or the reason.
- Eggs help to bind the pie together and since evaporated milk (I use PET) works at high temperatures without curdling, it makes a great choice to add creaminess to the pie filling.
- While I do love making this pie, I am far from being a baker so I opt for frozen shells that work fine for this recipe. I share a few recommendations later in this post.
Can you make this pie ahead of time?
Yes! You can certainly make the filling beforehand and use it within the next 2-3 days if refrigerated. You can also freeze the filling for 2-3 months. Since the shells are frozen, you'll want to keep them frozen until you're ready to use them.
Which frozen pie crusts should I buy?
There is nothing better than homemade pie crust, but as I shared, making dough is not really my thing. When I'm making pies my first choice is to go with a refrigerated or frozen option. However, while I'm quick to purchase a pre-made crust, all pie crusts are not created equal.
I recommend Wholly Wholesome's Organic Pie Shells. They have a gluten-free option, as well. If you are comfortable buying your pie pans separately, You could use the fresh sheets of flat or rolled pastry dough. Trader Joe’s Pie Crust, Wholly Wholesome's Organic Pie Dough and Leadbetter’s French Picnic Pastry Sheets are great choices.
How to make sweet potato pies:
- Peel and boil your sweet potatoes for 30 minutes. You want them to be very tender when they're done. This helps to achieve that creamy texture you want. Note: If you boil them skin-on, they'll need to cool before you can work with them. If you peel them beforehand, you skip that step.
- Drain your sweet potatoes and mash them using a potato masher. Once smashed, add all of your remaining ingredients into the same bowl: sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter, pure cane syrup, eggs, and evaporated milk.
- The key to any great sweet potato recipe is the texture of the filling. It must be velvety smooth and free of any noticeable chunks. Using a hand mixer and blending for around 5 minutes should get you to the desired consistency.
- Once you fill your crust, bake them for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. They'll be ready to serve after cooling for 15 minutes.
- Sometimes, I take it a step further and toast marshmallows around the edge of my pie. I use a culinary torch to toast them lightly. You can also purchase marshmallow fluff and use the same torching technique.
If you love sweet potatoes, you should check out a few more of my recipes:
- Mini Sweet Potato Pies
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potato Hand Pies
- Creamy Zucchini & Sweet Potato Soup
- Moist Sweet Potato Muffins
- Sweet Potato Cheesecake
- Sweet Potato Pancakes