How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Pie

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Sweet potatoes are a delicious root vegetable and the star of many dishes, especially in Southern sweet potato recipes and soul food sweet potato pies.

They are rich in flavor and yield a naturally creamy texture when baked. Their inherent sweetness is the base for favorite African-American recipes.

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Pie
What Is The Best Way To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Sweet Potato Pie?

Cooking sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie 

Unlike pumpkin pie where you can use a canned pumpkin purée, sweet potatoes must be cooked to soften, mashed, and mixed to make a homemade sweet potato pie purée.

With so many important recipe steps, it’s always best to know what mistakes to avoid when making this iconic Southern soul food dessert. Either Jewel or Beauregard sweet potatoes are recommended because they are the best sweet potatoes for baking. Learn more about why in my post about what type of sweet potatoes are best for sweet potato pie

How to roast sweet potatoes for pie

Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes for pie? 

When cooking sweet potatoes for pie, the preferred culinary method is to roast or pressure cook them. Roasting is simply baking the sweet potatoes in the oven at a temperature of at least 400 degrees F because the intense heat breaks down the starches into sugars, resulting in a sweeter potato. The result is a more developed flavor of the mashed sweet potatoes for your pie filling.

Then, you simply gather the potato flesh and discard the skin. Then, you mix the softened flesh with sweet potato pie spices, and a few other ingredients in an electric mixer to make the pie filling and pour the filling into the pie crust.

When to peel sweet potatoes for pie

Should sweet potatoes be soaked in water before baking? 

This step is not necessary when cooking sweet potatoes for pie.

Do you need to bake sweet potatoes in foil? 

When making pie, you won’t need to cover the sweet potatoes in foil. However, you can line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for the potatoes to roast.

Do sweet potatoes get sweeter when baked? 

Sweet potatoes need time in the hot oven for their enzymes to convert starch into sugar. Because of the intense oven temperature, roasting (baking above 400 degrees F) is the ideal method to cook sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie to make them extra sweet.

Can you microwave sweet potatoes for pie?

Don’t try to save time using a microwave because your sweet potatoes may cook unevenly. And the microwave is likely to take longer with more check-ins.

Can you use the Instant Pot to cook sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie?

Cooking sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot for pie 

Pro tip: You can save time by using the Instant Pot to pressure-cook sweet potatoes for pie. This modern kitchen appliance delivers intense heat to convert the potato starches into sugar for a sweeter dessert. Yet, it only takes 12 minutes to cook the potatoes instead of roasting them in the oven for almost an hour.

Check out my recipe for Instant Pot sweet potato pie to get step-by-step guided instructions with pictures.

Cooking sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie

When to peel sweet potatoes for pie

The easiest and preferred method is to peel the potatoes after they are cooked (roasted or pressure-cooked). Then, the potato skin will be softened to peel the sweet potatoes quickly and almost effortlessly to prepare them for mashing. 

How to roast sweet potatoes for pie

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For Pie

When cooking sweet potatoes for pie, the preferred culinary method is to roast them. Roasting is simply baking the sweet potatoes in the oven at a temperature of at least 400 degrees F because the intense heat breaks down the starches into sugars, resulting in a sweeter potato.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Roasting of the potatoes: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 8
Calories: 390kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound sweet potatoes washed and scrubbed (equals about 3 cups when softened and peeled)
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (or vegan butter)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes and set them aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • See my recipe for homemade almond flour pie crust, or you can use a store-bought pie crust, dough, or pie shell that may or may not come with its own pie pan. Grease the pie pan, place the uncooked pie crust in it, and set it aside.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, and roast the sweet potatoes on it for 40 minutes or until tender. Pro tip: Use the Instant Pot to save time and cook the potatoes in only 12 minutes!
    Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes for pie?
  • Remove the cooked potatoes from the oven, and once they're cool to the touch, peel and discard the skin.
    Cooking sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie
  • Gather 3 cups of sweet potato flesh.
    Gather 3 cups of sweet potato flesh.
  • Add the sweet potato flesh, evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt to a large bowl.
    Add to either the Instant Pot Ace blender or an electric mixer the sweet potato flesh, evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
  • Mix with a hand-held or stand electric mixer until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
  • Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.
    Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.
  • Bake the sweet potato pie at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the pie is puffed and firm in the center. (Remember that cooking appliance times and oven temperatures will vary.)
    Bake the sweet potato pie at 350 degrees F.
  • Allow the sweet potato pie to cool for at least 4 hours before slicing, then serve and enjoy!
    Allow the sweet potato pie to cool for at least 2-4 hours before garnishing or slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 12637IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 1mg
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How to Cook Sweet Potatoes For Sweet Potato Pie
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
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One Comment

  1. Charlotte A. says:

    5 stars
    I thought it would be too hard to make sweet potato pie like my mom’s from scratch. Thank you for sharing this easy method.