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Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie


  • 1 1/2 pounds (700 grams or 2 medium)
  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely ground pecans (see Grinding Grains, Nuts, and Seeds)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated


1. Move a rack to the upper-middle rung and heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Poke the sweet potatoes a few times with the tip of a knife and roast until tender enough to be pierced with a fork, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on their size. Cool slightly before peeling.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
4. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. In a medium bowl, combine it with the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and ground pecans until all the crumbs are moistened. Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping, and press the remainder into a glass or ceramic 9-inch pie dish.
5. Mash together the warm sweet potato flesh and remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, salt, and nutmeg to taste. Beat well to combine.
6. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth out the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Sprinkle on the reserved topping and return to the oven until lightly golden, another 20 to 25 minutes.
8. Cool completely before serving with whipped cream or Ulysses’s Syllabub.


1. If you prefer a more traditional pastry crust, use a half recipe of Short Crust Pastry, or a store-bought frozen crust to make things easy.
2. If you prefer, substitute 1/3 cup honey for the brown sugar and reduce the milk to 1/3 cup.