Have you checked out my new Black folks’ sweet potato pie cookbook?
It’s a collector’s edition honoring a legacy of the West African influences in my family’s viral sweet potato pie recipes!
Which one is your favorite?
What makes Black folks’ sweet potato pie a favorite pie recipe?
My favorite is my classic Black folks’ sweet potato pie. There are many other great pies recipes out there, but my Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe stands out from the rest! It’s the first sweet potato pie recipe to introduce warm, spicy notes of clove and ginger as part of its signature soul food spices, along with silky evaporated milk in the recipe.
But what can you use if you don’t have evaporated milk?
Can you use sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk in pie?
It’s my signature Black folk’s sweet potato pie recipe. Instead, we’re using condensed milk. It’s the perfect recipe substitute solution if you don’t have the preferred evaporated milk on hand.
What’s the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk in pie?
Condensed milk is evaporated milk with a sweetener added.
Evaporated milk is without a sweetener, and it’s gone through a cooking process to vaporize and remove (evaporate) over half of the water content.
Which has more sugar, condensed milk or evaporated milk?
Condensed milk has more sugar added and is sweeter.
What do you do with condensed milk?
You’ll use evaporated or condensed milk in sweet potato pie because you don’t want the extra water in the recipe to make the filling runny.
Knowing what mistakes to avoid when making sweet potato pie is integral to the legacy of this classic Southern dish.
But no worries – I’ve gotchu with my complete list of ingredients and instructions with step-by-step guided pictures for making the best Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe – even when you’re substituting with condensed milk!
- Instant Pot electric pressure cooker – to cook and soften the sweet potatoes
- Electric mixer or Instant Ace Plus blender – to mix and smooth the sweet potato pie filling
- 9-inch deep-dish pie plate – for a full-bodied depth pie filling
Shop my kitchenware HERE!
What are the ingredients in Southern sweet potato pie?
This recipe is made with my signature Black folks’ sweet potato pie ingredients: softened or mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, butter, and the best blend of vanilla, evaporated milk, cinnamon, and other sweet potato pie spices.
Ingredients for Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe with condensed milk
*See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients with measurements.
- Sweet potatoes – A naturally sweet pie filling with a smooth, creamy texture.
- Condensed milk – Adds sweetness and smoothness to the pie.
- Light brown sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness with caramel-like flavor.
- Eggs – The binding agent that ensures the pie filling holds its shape.
- Butter – Adds a rich flavor that complements the natural sweet potatoes.
- Vanilla extract – For a warm and comforting balance in the flavor profile.
- Ginger – Adds a hint of spiciness and a subtle warm kick.
- Nutmeg – Adds a warm, nutty, and earthy balance to the pie’s sweetness.
- Cinnamon – Adds a comforting warmth and heat with earthy flavor.
- Clove – Contributes to the pie’s overall soulful spiciness.
- Salt – A necessary contrast to balance the sweet spice profiles.
- Pie crust – Elevates this dish from a sweet potato soufflé to a sweet potato pie with a simple, delicious, and flaky pie crust encasing.
Are there any acceptable ingredients substitutes in a Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe?
You can use the following swaps for this soul food baked sweet potato pie recipe:
- Can you use Garnet sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie? Yes, Garnets have a juicy orange flesh perfect for mashing or baking. Although, Jewels and Beauregards are best for baking, sweeter, and therefore preferred.
- Can you use canned sweet potatoes? Nothing beats fresh potatoes for this incredible Black folks’ homemade sweet potato pie recipe, but you could use canned sweet potato.
- Would regular milk work as a substitute for the evaporated milk? Because regular milk contains significantly more water, it’s not a recommended substitute in sweet potato pie.
- Can you use granulated sugar? For this delicious sweet potato pie recipe, light brown sugar or dark brown sugar is best. But granulated sugar can also work in a pinch.
- If you do not prepare the pie crust from scratch, can you use a frozen pie crust? Yes, you can absolutely use a frozen pie crust, pie shell, or store-bought pie dough. Even a frozen pie crust already nestled in an aluminum foil pan. Thaw, add your filling, and bake the pie on the oven rack or a baking sheet.
Instructions for a Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe with condensed milk
Do you preheat (blind bake) the pie crust? No need to pre-bake, which could cause your pie crust edges to overcook or burn later when the pie is filled.
*See the recipe card below for a detailed list of instructions with step-by-step guided pictures.
- Grease the pie pan so the pie crust does not get stuck on the pie pan while baking.
- Pressure cook or roast the sweet potatoes. (Pressure cooking in an Instant Pot is the fastest and recommended way to peel the sweet potatoes easily.)
- Drain the cooked sweet potatoes into a colander.
- Peel the sweet potatoes once they have cooled to the touch.
- Gather the potato flesh and discard the skin.
- Mix the potato flesh, spices, and ingredients at high speed using an electric mixer or blender to make the pie filling.
- Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust.
- Bake the pie.
- Let the pie cool for at least 2-4 hours before garnishing or slicing.
- Serve warm and enjoy! (Sweet potato pie is best served at room temperature or re-warmed.)
- Does this recipe make two pies or one? Depending on how deep of a dish your pie pan is, you’ll probably have leftover sweet potato mix to make mini sweet potato pies.
- Use any leftover pie dough for the easiest Southern dessert ever – flaky homemade pie crust cookies!
Watch the video to see how to make sweet potato pie step-by-step with key moments.
What is the best way to cook sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie?
The easiest method is to use an Instant Pot pressure cooker to soften and peel the sweet potatoes quickly and almost effortlessly to prepare them for mashing. You won’t even need a potato masher!
Should you roast or boil sweet potatoes for pie?
Roasting or pressure cooking the sweet potatoes is recommended over boiling or steaming.
Learn more about the best way to cook sweet potatoes for sweet potato pie in my post HERE.
Do you eat sweet potato pie hot or cold?
Sweet potato pie is best served warm or at room temperature.
Most pies are left unrefrigerated while family and friends feast on the dessert. Then, it’s chilled in the fridge to store the leftovers and warmed up before serving again.
What do you serve with Black folks sweet potato pie?
If you’re looking for classic soul food recipes to serve with your sweet potato pie for your Thanksgiving menu or Christmas dinner, look no further than these delicious ideas in my post HERE about what to serve with sweet potato pie.
Black folks sweet potato pie recipe with condensed milk FAQs
Which is better evaporated or condensed milk?
The answer is a matter of preference. Condensed milk is sweeter than evaporated milk. And evaporated milk is silkier than thicker condensed milk. Although one can be substituted for the other, condensed milk will make the taste of the pie a bit sweeter.
How do you get the strings out of sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes stored at the wrong temperature can become stringy when cooked. But no worries, because a blender, hand-held mixer, or stand electric mixer will round up and collect the strings with the mixers or blade. You can read more about how to get strings out of sweet potatoes in my guide HERE.
How can you thicken your sweet potato pie filling?
While many recipes call for adding flour for thickening, you don’t want to do this for a soul food sweet potato pie filling. It could compromise the unique Southern soul food flavors.
To avoid needing to thicken the pie filling, before cooking, make sure your sweet potato mixture has some texture and is not just a thin, runny purée.
How do you know when the filling is cooked?
The pie is done is when you can see the center of the pie filling puffing in the oven and its firm and not runny or jiggly.
How do you keep your pie crust edges from burning?
To alleviate concerns of your pie crust edges burning, use a pie crust shield.
How do you cut sweet potato pie?
One primary consideration when cutting your sweet potato pie is to let it set before cutting. Otherwise, the slice will fall apart like feta cheese!
It’s best to let the pie cool and set for a few hours to a whole day. But if you can’t wait the entire day, wait at least four hours before cutting it into pieces.
Pro tips for slicing sweet potato pie
- Be sure your knife is clean and sharp.
- A perfect uniform slice will be in your hands if you refrigerate your sweet pie before cutting.
- Wipe the knife after each slice and cut cleanly through to the bottom of your pie.
How to store and reheat sweet potato pie
Do you refrigerate Black folks’ sweet potato pie? Yes. After all, this recipe calls for eggs.
How long will sweet potato pie last in the refrigerator? The baked and cooled pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Can you reheat sweet potato pie? Yes, this sweet potato pie recipe can be quickly rewarmed in the oven. Or by the slice in the microwave.
Can you freeze a sweet potato pie? You can absolutely freeze whole sweet potato pies or leftover pie for up to three months. First, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then foil, sealed tight in an airtight container.
Can you make this pie ahead? Yes, and if you’re making a Thanksgiving sweet potato pie or a Christmas sweet potato pie, it’s a good idea to make your sweet potato pie masterpiece ahead of time. (Assuming, of course, that you have the refrigerator space!)
What are the ingredients in Patti Labelle’s sweet potato pie?
Miss Patti’s sweet potato pies include traditional sweet potato pie ingredients: nutmeg, cinnamon, and white sugar.
Although her pies will satisfy, the ingredients don’t include my sweet potato pie’s soulful secret ingredients: brown sugar, ginger, clove, and vanilla!
What do you think about this Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe with condensed milk?
The ingredients are simple, but the flavor is unique!
Have you had it?
Would you make it?
Comment below and lemme know.
If you like this recipe, then you’ll love these best Thanksgiving dessert recipes!
- Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
- Instant Pot Omni Plus oven (optional)
- Instant Pot Ace Plus blender or an electric mixer
- 1 ½ pound sweet potatoes washed and scrubbed (equals about 3 cups when softened and peeled)
- 6 oz condensed milk
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 tablespoons butter 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
- Grease a 9-inch pie pan and set it aside.
- See my recipe HERE 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.
- Pro tip: Use an Instant Pot pressure cooker to soften and peel the sweet potatoes quickly and almost effortlessly!
- Open the Instant Pot lid and fill the stainless-steel inner pot with water to the ½ mark.
- Add the scrubbed sweet potatoes to the pot of water.
- Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 12 minutes to loosen the potato skin.
- When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 12 minutes.
- To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
- Pour the water and sweet potatoes into a colander in the sink to drain the hot water from the potatoes.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and discard the skin.
- Gather 3 cups of sweet potato flesh.
- Add to either the Instant Pot Ace blender or an electric mixer the sweet potato flesh, condensed milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla extract, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
- Pulse or mix until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pie crust.
- Bake the sweet potato pie at 350 degrees F: in a conventional oven for 28-30 minutes, in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven for 24-26 minutes, or until the pie is puffed and firm in the center. (Remember that cooking appliance times and oven temperatures will vary.)
- Allow the sweet potato pie to cool for at least 2-4 hours before garnishing or slicing.
- Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
- Serve this Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe warm and enjoy!