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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

50 Tastes: Sweet Potato Pie, North Carolina

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

For this year's Thanksgiving, I figured I'd try something a little different. Exploring the (un)official dessert of North Carolina provided a perfect opportunity. Sweet potato and sweet potato pie play a significant role in the state's history and economy. But like most of the desserts I've shared through this series, there's so much more to it.


I apologize for the double pie posts in a row, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'd say it's to be expected. Now, I feel as though I need to preface this by sharing that I come from a pumpkin pie family. Every Thanksgiving, every year. Homemade or store-bought, and yes, we did buy one at least twice. So the concept of a sweet potato pie was somewhat new to me but sounded delightful nonetheless. Once I delved into its history, I never would have imagined it had such rich and prominent origins, even expanding outside of the states. In my actual recreation of a pumpkin pie, I certainly think there is some room for improvement and I am eager to try again in the future. Nonetheless, this is pie was definitely worthy of concluding Thanksgiving dinner. And some people may have noticed the unique shape from a recent video of mine, but I figured a new pie deserved a new shape! So I implore you to try something new this Thanksgiving as well, it was fun to break from a tradition of ours!


Spiced Sweet Potato Pie


Premade or store bought pie crust

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. If using homemade pie dough, roll the dough to fit your pie dish (approx 1/8" thick), trim and flute the edges, and refrigerate while preparing. the filling.

  3. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, until tender, for approx 13-15 minutes.

  4. Once tender, drain potatoes; return to pan. Mash until very smooth; cool to room temperature. For a smoother consistency, puree the potatoes in a food processor or blender until not lumps remain.

  5. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Add milk, 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt; mix until combined, the filling may look a little lumpy.

  6. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F. Reduce heat to 350°F; bake until set or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.

  7. Let the pie cool completely before serving.



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