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Sweet Potatoes for Dessert

Sweet Potato Pies
by

If you have volunteered to bring a dessert to your family gathering this Thanksgiving, you are probably combing the Internet in search of the right recipe. Well, comb no more. If sweet potatoes sound good to you, then your search has been whittled down to the six recipes in this article -- four pies, a cheesecake, and the ultimate sweet potato pudding casserole.

Although good sweet potatoes are available throughout the year, they have long been associated with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, particularly in the south.

Sweet potatoes are quite versatile. Yes, they make excellent desserts, but they are to be found in everything from biscuits to side dishes. And since sweet potatoes are full of natural sugars, sweet potato desserts do not require nearly as much added sugar as, say, pumpkin pie. But we indulge ourselves at Thanksgiving, and perhaps we are not so much concerned with sugar content as with pure enjoyment of the dish.

To get to a printer-friendly version of each of the following recipes, click on the recipe title. And if you need a good recipe for your pie pastry, go to Grandma's Cookbook where you can search in the Pie category.

First, the pies.



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Sweet Potato Pie
This is your basic, time-honored Sweet Potato Pie recipe. It's hard to beat.
  • 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs (large or jumbo), separated, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch regular pie shell
  • sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, beaten egg yolks, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Blend in half-and-half.

Beat egg whites with electric mixer until foamy. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the sweet potato mixture.

Pour filling into an unbaked pie shell, and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Allow to cool. Top with whipped cream or whipped topping, if desired.

T he following sweet potato pie recipes vary things just a bit with added flavors and textures. Any one of them may be your favorite.

Sweet Potato Bourbon Pie

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature, fork beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Bake or boil the unpeeled sweet potatoes until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes, and mash until smooth.

Measure 2 cups of the mashed sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients, combining well.

Pour filling into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell, and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for an additional 1 hour and 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Top with whipped cream or whipped topping, if desired.

Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 well-beaten egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine the sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Add the butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut and milk.

Pour mixture into pie shell, and bake at 325°F until set, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue on hot filling, sealing to edges.

Return pie to oven and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Glazed Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon dark corn syrup (Karo® syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch regular pie shell
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices in a heavy saucepan. Stir in the corn syrup, butter and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil over mediuim heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Slightly beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl with a fork. Mix about half the boiled mixture with the egg yolks. Then mix the egg yolk mixture back into the mixture remaining in the pan. Stir well to combine.

Pour filling into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell, and sprinkle chopped pecans over top. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.

The following cheesecake recipe differs from most in that the batter is cooked, then mixed with additional ingredients and chilled. Since it spends no time in the oven, there's no worrying about doneness or water baths or those pesky cracks that sometimes form in cheesecakes. It also goes without saying that this cheesecake is delicious.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake

  • 1-2/3 graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • additional whipped cream for topping (optional)
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill

Soften the gelatin in the water in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk. Place water in double boiler and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in the cream cheese and sweet potatoes.

Pour mixture into the container of an electric blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites, whipped cream and vanilla into the sweet potato mixture.

Spoon mixture into the prepared springform pan, and chill until set. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired. Makes about 10 servings.

This is one of the, if not the, ultimate sweet potato dishes. It is arguable as to whether it is a side dish or a dessert. Whatever it is, it's delicious.

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 6 medium-size sweet potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • marshmallows (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 30 to 45 minutes until they are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork. Allow to cool, then peel and mash.

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, the eggs, vanilla, half-and-half and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread evenly in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish.

Combine the remaining 1 cup of brown sugar with the flour, and cut in the 1/4 cup cold butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Toss mixture with chopped pecans, and sprinkle evenly over top of casserole.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, adding the marshmallows after 20 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

I wish you and your family a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.

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