It’s just not Thanksgiving without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a wedge of pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Luckily, it’s easy to make, and mashed sweet potato can be swapped for the usual pumpkin puree. The easiest way to cook and mash sweet potatoes is to roast them whole, in their skins, directly on the oven rack for about an hour, or until very tender. Roasting will retain nutrients and caramelize the potatoes under their skins, boosting flavor in your finished pie. Choose the larger, rounder, darker-fleshed sweet potatoes (often labeled yams) – they are more nutrient-dense and flavorful than the longer, slimmer, paler-fleshed varieties.
Once roasted, the skins will naturally begin to separate from the flesh; when they are cool enough to handle peel the sweet potatoes and mash them in a bowl with a potato masher, wire whisk or fork.
Here’s a tip: top your pie with whipped cream sweetened with a little dark brown sugar or maple syrup.
Classic Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can pure pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups mashed roasted sweet potato
3/4 cup half & half, evaporated 2% milk or whipping cream
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp. molasses (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch mace (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, whisk everything until well blended and smooth. Pour into the crust.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is set but still just a little wobbly in the middle and the crust is golden. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the pie lightly with a sheet of foil as it bakes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Serve the pie at room temperature with whipped cream, sweetened with a little sugar or maple syrup.
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Photo credit: istockphoto/HHLtDave5