« Back to recipes

Old School Sweet Potato Pie

Donna Pierce, Les Dames d'Escoffier Chicago Chapter


"My paternal grandmother referred to herself as 'bewildered' when her son 'a city kid from Mobile' insisted on majoring in agriculture in rural Tuskegee, Alabama."

"Daddy — who described working two semesters under Dr. George Washington Carver among his best 'lifetime achievements' — was that 'city kid.' He loved growing things and called my maternal grandmother’s sweet potato pie his favorite 'old-time' dessert."

-Donna Pierce, Les Dames d‘ Escoffier Chicago Chapter

Download the full recipe here.

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg white, optional
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, cardamom, mace
  • 1 cup half-and-half or whipping cream
  • 1 pie shell (9-inch), unbaked


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling water until fork tender. Drain; set aside just until cool
    enough to handle. Peel and mash. You should have about 2 cups mashed
  3. Mix together mashed sweet potatoes, 2 eggs, sugar, maple syrup and butter
    with a mixer on medium-low speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add cinnamon, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and mace. Slowly beat in the
    half and half, mixing just until well combined. Set aside.
  5. With the tines of a fork, prick the bottom and sides of the pie shell. Brush with the optional egg white, if using; refrigerate the yolk for another purpose or discard.
  6. Pour sweet potato mixture into the pie shell. Place on center rack of oven. Bake until filling is firmly set (a tester or knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.


  • Pick potatoes of a similar size so they cook to tender at about the same
  • In a rush? Although the texture of boiled potatoes is preferred, cooking
    sweet potatoes one at a time in a microwave also works.
    • Microwave instructions: Pierce each potato several times with a fork. Cook on (100% power) until
      potato is tender and easily pierced with a knife. One medium 8-ounce
      potato takes about 5 minutes. Continue cooking, until all potatoes are
  • My grandmother used another “old school” kitchen tool, a ricer, to make a
    smooth paste out of the boiled sweet potatoes.
  • Replace homemade pastry with your favorite store-bought frozen or
    refrigerated crust. Be sure to defrost a frozen crust before working with it. 
  • Another granny tip: brushing the bottom crust with egg white keeps it from
    getting soggy during baking!

Return to recipe listing »

Know your food, know your farmer
Business office

2613 W. Lawrence Avenue

Chicago, IL 60625

(773) 880-1266

Contact us »

Follow us on Instagram


Proud member of the Farmers Market Coalition