My eldest daughter recently requested a sweet potato pie. I had never made one before, but one of my favorite cookbooks had an interesting recipe that incorporated buttermilk. This page must have caught her eye when she was flipping through. The southern brothers, Matt and Ted Lee, have a wonderful cookbook called The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook. In the intro of the recipe they mention that they have tried many sweet potato pies and often find the texture and flavor of a typical pie to be "leaden and dull". I have had many similarly yucky pumpkin pies. Flat and boring - not so appetizing. However, they've managed to create a recipe that turns out to have the texture and tang of a cheesecake with the light background flavor of a sweet potato. It's almost mousse-like. Served with a dollop of brandy whipped cream, it's heavenly. And for several mornings this week for my family, it was totally worthy of being called breakfast.
Sweet Potato Pie
from the Lee Bros. Southern cookbook
- Steam 1 1/2 pounds of peeled and diced sweet potatoes. Strain and mash with a fork or potato masher. For this recipe you need only 1 1/4 cups mashed sweet potato. Save the remainder for another dish.
- To the potato, add 4 tbsp melted butter, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until combined.
- Separate 3 eggs.
- In a small bowl, whisk 3 yolks for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar and whisk until light yellow, about 2 minutes. Add this egg mixture to the sweet potato mixture. Add 2 tbsp flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. With a wooden spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the sweet potato mixture. Pour mixture into prebaked sweet pie crust. Bake on middle rack until the center is firm, about 35 or 40 minutes.
- Remove pie from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.