Dearest Queen of Sweets,
You have the most beloved root in my heart. Your voluptuous thickness is such a powerful reminder of my very own female powers. You are a big chunky girl, and dammit, you look good! Your smooth skin is gloriously radiant. Your burnished beauty always seduces me right to your side, whenever I see you displayed in the market.
I know that no matter what I am cooking Queen, you’ve got me. All year long you never let me down. Be it in a salad, dressed in a peppery orange vinaigrette; starring in a spicy, sexy Tex-Mex situation; bringing the smooth slippery slickness to a curry; looking out for my heart in a cheeky little baked oatmeal, first thing in the morning; or crowning the holiday side dish table in Momma Walker’s oval casserole dish.
Girl, you know how to take care of me. You have so many good thangs going for you, Fiber, vitamins A, B5 and B6, C, E, Potassium, Magnesium, and don’t get me bragging on your antioxidants!
Boo is it any wonder why I love you so?
Thank you for the best custard pie, hands down, of all time. Thank you for being a part of my family’s expression of celebration. I cannot remember a Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s feast without you. I have created this pie as a token of my loving devotion. Thank you for always being there.
This is the iconic Black American Dessert. It is the truest fusion of African diaspora bedrock ingredient and its multiple uses, Western European pie making, and Caribbean spices. Every holiday this humble Queen makes the sweet table. It is one of the few recipes everybody makes, but nobody makes the same. It is hearty enough to be a great breakfast or afternoon tea treat, humble enough to eat out of hand by the wedge, but is also chic enough to eat on the finest bone china.
Every Thanksgiving, Gramma Wilma baked each us kids our own pie. Every Christmas, Godmother, Vicky T always made Monique, Jessica, and me our own pie. I only know them as tokens of incredible women’s affection. Women that loved me with focused power and truly invested knowledge within me. Women that had my best at heart of hearts.
The first person I made them for in Tasmania was my good friend and “Bad Ass Cutie Pie”, Tabitha Glowacki. She was about seven when she ate all the samples in the dish that Market. She would come to help her mom or grandmother every month at the Market that I cooked my 1st luncheon services at, and “help us out” at the cake table. And of all the treats, Tab loved sweet potato pie best. I will never forget the look on her face when she came back into the kitchen and demand that I tell her all about sweet potato pie. She said I should only make that and baked beans and she would be my best customer! In 12 years of cooking for Aussies I have never had anybody fall that hard for Sweet Potato Pie since I myself, fell all those years ago. How could I not love that girl? Tabs and her sister Ebs are so dear to me. They have moxie. They have brains. They’ve got spark. But they are good people too. Really good citizens. I am so proud to know them. They came to Our 1st Thanksgivings and it is not Thanksgiving for me without them.
So good people, all that I need to finish this love letter and post is this…
Please make this pie for someone you love or think much of. There is so much sacred love in this pie it needs to be conjured by loving hands.
If you have someone who needs good love, make them this pie.
If you are sharing time with folks you have a little shine for, make them this pie.
When you need spoiling, make this pie and eat it with strong café au lait with a shot of bourbon in the middle of your bed warmed up with a spoon. X
Sweet Potato Pie
- 2 Large or 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter as brown as you dare
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons Maple or golden syrup
- 1/4 cup Brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Molasses
- 1/4 cup Damn Fine Sipping bourbon
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground allspice berries
- 1/8 teaspoon Ground cloves
- 7 grinds Coarse black pepper
- 1 9-inch Basic pie crust baked blind
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/ 205 degrees C.
- Pierce the sweet potatoes at each end with a fork and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Roast until the potatoes are soft, 1 hour, turning them over and bake another 30/40 minutes. Cool, peel, and put the flesh in a food processor or mash smoothly with a potato masher. You should have 2–2 1/4 cups of puree.
- Turn oven down to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C.
- Combine the puree with all the remaining ingredients for the filling. Whisk until well combined and smooth
- Sieve the filling into the partially baked pie shell.
- Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is just barely set. When the rim of the pie plate is tapped, the very center of the filling should barely move.
- Cool the pie to room temperature.
- This is like a sweet potato custard, and you will want to take care not to over-bake. You are making velvet. Check it often as it nears the end of its baking time and remember that it will set up a bit as it cools.
- Any extra filling you can bake in ramekins for those who are gluten free. Or if you have a really good night 😊 , they make a very sexy addition to some Greek yogurt and pecan granola with a Creole coffee. I mean I may have heard somewhere.