| | |

Sweet Potato Pie

Well, friends, it’s that time of year again.  The time when I was too lazy to bake these pies for Thanksgiving.  The time when I was too tired to bake them for our extended family Christmas last weekend.  The time when if I’m going to get them baked before Christmas, I better do it today.  The boys, as you know, are at Disney with Dotter, MuzicMan and Danno.  What better time, right?

LilSis made her own sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving, though I neither saw nor tasted one.  She said they turned out good.  Or is it well?

Regardless, this recipe is a Houma Indian recipe taught to me by one of my sisters-in-law; well, actually the only one who bakes them.  This is about the only kind of pie I’ve ever seen my Native American kinfolk bake or eat.  Is that strange?

Right about now, BigSis, LilSis, and others are hoping I am going to post the recipe; which I thought long and hard about doing while I was baking all afternoon.

First, it takes about four hours of time.  Then you add a strong back.  Next, add two strong arms and wrists. Be sure and sprinkle a whole lotta love throughout, because that must be why I continue to break my back making these pies for my family.

I went back and read last year’s post about these pies, and all I did was sort of whet your appetite for them, I think.  Maybe I’ll go a little further this year.  Tell you what I’ll do.  I’ll post the photos I took, and then I’ll think some more about posting a recipe, depending on how much request there might be for a good sweet potato pie recipe!!!

The crust is not your typical pie crust.

This one is more cake-like, though it is made from scratch and not from a boxed cake mix at all.  This dough is made from flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, baking powder, and evaporated milk.  The only ingredient left out is the secret one!

Flour your surface.  Mine is an old table cloth.  Flour your favorite rolling pin.  Mine belonged to my Great Grandmother.  Roll out the dough into a nice circle, and then carefully transfer from the cloth to the pie pan.

Oh, the sweet potatoes.  I forgot!  I used about eight large sweet potatoes.  My Houma Indian teachers peeled, chunked, and boiled them.  I bake them for a richer color, and smoother texture.  Also, it’s easier on the hands than peeling and they aren’t quite as runny as boiled.  I learned the right baking combination:  450 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Watch them, though, so they don’t over bake and get too dry.

I mash them in a large bowl with real butter, sugar, vanilla, and a secret ingredient.  If you like, you may add nutmeg or cinnamon, but I don’t!

Carefully transfer the pie crust from the cloth to the pie pan and fill with two large spoonfuls of the sweet potatoes.

Next, roll out the top crust, which will be thinner than the bottom crust and more fragile.  Carefully slide it onto the top of the pie.

Using a sharp knife, that you’ve floured, trim the excess crust from the edges of the pie pan.  Using a fork, press together the edges and then poke a series of holes in the top of the crust.  This allows steam from the potatoes to escape during baking.

After making 4 pies, I used the remaining dough to make 4-5 mini pies.  My Native American teachers call them “turnovers”, which you all know comes from the action a “fried pie” makes in the boiling grease, right?  These don’t actually turn over, so I just call them mini pies.  No matter what you call them, they still melt in your mouth!

This is all the sweet potato filling there was left–one big spoonful.  There was zero dough left.

About 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven later, this is what you will have!

This is how a mini pie looks!  Isn’t it cute?

Four pies isn’t really enough to go around; but these days, that’s about all my back can take.  This is actually harder on the back than fishing all day!  Maybe I’ll go fishing tomorrow to make my back feel better!  Do you think that will work?

Try not to drool over the pics too much, okay?

Your Holiday Baker,


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’d love to see a recipe for those pies! Do you think the little mini pies might be made using canned sweet potatoes? I’ll be watching and waiting for that recipe to show up. I really enjoy your blog!

    1. Absolutely! We could call them “quick and dirty” mini pies! LOL! Heat them, smash them, add butter, sugar and voila! I’m so glad you like the blog! Keep those comments coming!

  2. Oh gosh Pamela……….don’t even go there with BW about canned sweet potatoes!!

    The pies look great (minis are adorable) and I know they are worth the effort in taste. Just think of the physical work as being good for your pecs and arms.

    1. I was sitting here thinking about you yesterday while typing this post. It’s SO GOOD to see you back online again!!! Please don’t be a stranger, Cuz! Merry Christmas!

  3. Woooo I made spinach pie. Not sure about sweet potato, ones I bit into I regretted. Let’s see can’t see bourbon as BW flavoring, cane syrup is out, hmmmm. Molasses? probably not. Nutmeg or ginger be too easy.

    I am gonna cheat and ask my chief chitamaka, Roger Stouff.
    Not that he would know. LOL.

    In the crust? Got to be an egg.

    I miss Hubig’s. Gonna have to start LLC for Hubig’s for Yankees and Beernuts for Coonasses. HuYaBeeCoo got nice ring y’all think?

    Kim, pretty common up here in central Illinois. Not eastern Illinois though.

  4. Those look yummy. Sweet potato pie is essential around here. Have you ever made grape dumplings? Its a traditional end to a meal for most of our tribal feasts. So good!

    1. Grape dumplings? That must be from the plains Indians!!!! Never heard of it! Do you want to start off with a recipe? Email it to me and I’ll shape it into a blog post! Oh, and photos!!!

  5. Ok, BW here’s an idea for the future. Let everyone send in a recipe. Grape Dumplings sound very interesting. BTW, you wouldn’t have to make a pie for the “under 21” crowd. The alcohol will evaporate or dissipate (whatever the term) when baked. BUT, If you insist on baking one “with” and one “without”, I’ll have the one without!

  6. Oddly I just started making sweet potato pies a few years back, was always pumpkin pies before that. I lubs me some pumpkin pie, but I now lubs sweet potato too. I use Steens in mine, and I gots to have my gingered whipped cream on top.

    Ya know I have some fresh taters in the pantry, it might just be a sweet potato pie day!

    And as to Hubig’s thats what ya found in ya pack when you went camping to let ya know that Mom was thinking about you and you were not as grown up as ya thought. Moms, ain’t they great! (Cherry FTW)

      1. Whip a cup of cold heavy cream, whip in about 1 Tbsp. of powdered sugar, add powdered ginger (however much you like, ground ginger, roasted ginger, candied ginger).

        I actually usually use this for me : http://www.mccormickgourmet.com/Products/Spices/Ginger-Crystallized.aspx

        Grind up a few and just add them. Nothing special, just a box grater and watch your fingers.

        A Lady friend actually made the crystallized ginger each year and gave it as little Christmas presents to friends, I don’t get any anymore so I now can afford it, its easier, and its almost as good.

        Nothing special. The fresh ginger root even grated is too tuff to use. Don’t even think about it.

  7. I will work on that. I never use a recipe so I will have to recruit the kids to help me take pictures and notes while I cook.

  8. I sure wish you would cut the pie open so we can see the inside. I want to see the crust on the bottom. Please indulge me……….I haven’t posted in a long time.

  9. That pie looks yummy. Would love to have the recipe. I got bored with making pumpkin pie a few years ago and just gave it up. I love making pies from scratch and make a descent apple pie, but would love to try my hand at sweet potato pie. If I come before the mission trip in March will you divulge the secret ingredient?

  10. This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost.
    ..HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really loved what you had to
    say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  11. I grew up off these sweet dough sweet potato pies. Yes there is a secret ingredient left out. My great-great- great, grandmother baked these pies. Great taste! No can sweet potatoes dont8have the same taste. But if you like it, fine. Enjoy; and thanks for sharing.