Truth in labeling. This is, in fact, a pie. A sweet potato pie, a southern staple that I grew up with. My mom has been making this pie for as long as I can remember. (And that's a pretty long time.)
My mom is amazing. She still cooks a huge Sunday dinner every week. I'm there most Sundays, as are my sister and brother and any of our kids (and spouses and grandkids) that happen to be around. She's been doing this forever. And she always has dessert. Sometimes it's her famous cold oven pound cake, or even yellow cake with chocolate frosting. But quite often, it's sweet potato pie.
A true Southern sweet potato pie is not a pumpkin pie wannabe. You'll not find cloves, nutmeg, or even cinnamon here. Just a little sugar, butter and vanilla added to the custard so the delicate sweet potato really shines through. My mom says "When I want a pumpkin pie, I'll make a pumpkin pie!" It's also an all season pie, too good to relegate to the fall and winter.
This recipe makes two pies. My mom always bakes one plain and one with flaked coconut on top. There are those who prefer one or the other, but I am equal opportunity when it comes to pie.
Sweet potatoes are readily available year round, and full of fiber and other things that are good for you. So sweet potato pie is like having dessert with benefits, right? I like to think so. And I hope you do too.
My Mom's Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potato (you can either bake or boil your potatoes until tender)
Use a potato masher or a fork- not a food processor
2 eggs, beaten
Scant cup of sugar (My mom says a full cup is just too sweet for her.)
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 of a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk- (about 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons) Save the rest to brush on the crust before baking
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into two regular (not deep dish) unbaked pie shells.
Sprinkle top with sweetened, flaked coconut if desired. Brush crust with reserved milk.
Bake about an hour, or until filling is puffed and crust is nicely browned. (The amount of moisture in your sweet potatoes will determine the exact time.) If your crust browns too quickly, cover crust with foil. Cool and serve.