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Capitol Hill Cooks | Sweet Potato Pie inspired by 12th and Madison

(Images: Em for CHS)

Pumpkin pie is a holiday tradition, and holiday traditions are inviolable. I understand that. But if you’ve been making pumpkin pie year after year without much enthusiasm, this one’s for you. Or if you love autumnal custard pies so much that you want two this year, consider serving this sweet potato pie alongside your usual pumpkin. If you don’t fall into either category, no worries, you can save the recipe for next week.

Just for you, good CHS readers, I took advantage of a recent encounter with Dani Cone (High 5 Pie proprietress and author of Cutie Pies) to inquire about her favorite seasonal pie. She said something about pears in salted caramel, which sounded kind of hard, so you’ll have to visit High 5 for that one. But then she mentioned the sweet potato pie from her cookbook, and her eyes lit up with joy, and I went straight home and started baking.

This pie makes sweet potato and marshmallow magic; you fold mini marshmallows into the sweet potato filling and they disappear, leaving a sweet and fluffy pie with little hint of the marshmallow secret. (If marshmallows aren’t your thing, you might prefer this marshmallow-free Sweet Potato Pie with a Cream Cheese Swirl variation.)

You can bake this pie in a single or double crust, or you can divide the filling among smaller crust rounds and bake turnovers. Or remember last year when we made those tiny pies? That would be fun here. The recipe makes enough filling to make a deep 9” pie and then some, so either plan ahead for overflow or consider scaling back the filling amount to fit your pan. I filled and baked a single crust pie (then toasted a few marshmallows on top just for fun), and of course I tried out the turnover approach for you as well. The verdict: you can’t go wrong.

Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes, by Dani Cone

Pie crust, homemade or store bought (here’s my favorite), including extra dough for turnovers or muffin-pan minis
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 c. milk
¾ c. brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus one more if you’re making turnovers
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
5 c. mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375. If you are making turnovers, lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

To make the pie filling, boil the sweet potato chunks until tender, 10-15 minutes, then drain well. Puree until smooth in a food processor or mash thoroughly by hand. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, brown sugar, 3 eggs, vanilla, melted butter, spices, and salt. Add the sweet potato puree and mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the marshmallows and mix again, gently this time.

To make a single pie, line a deep 9” pie plate with pie crust and crimp the edge for decoration. Pour filling into the unbaked crust nearly up to the crimped edge and transfer carefully to the oven. Start checking the pie (to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark) after about 40 minutes, but total baking time may be an hour or more, depending on the size of your pan. It can be tricky to tell when the pie is done, but the center should no longer appear wobbly and a knife inserted midway between the crust and the pie’s center should come out moist but clean. (If the crust starts to darken before the middle is cooked, take a square of aluminum foil big enough to cover the whole pie and fold it in half. Tear a half-circle out of the folded square about the right size to expose the middle of the pie but not the crust. Now you can fold the square over the pie, leaving the center uncovered while preventing the crust from overbaking.) To decorate the pie with a marshmallow topping, wait until the pie is done. Cover the crust with aluminum foil as described and pile marshmallows in an even layer in the middle of the pie. I used halved large marshmallows. Place 6-8” under the broiler and watch carefully, removing the pie as soon as the marshmallows are golden brown. Or maybe you have one of those little kitchen torches? That would come in handy here.

To make turnovers, roll ping pong-ball-sized chunks of pie dough into thin 6” circles. Scoop a few tablespoons of pie filling into each dough circle. Brush the inside edges of the dough circle with beaten egg, fold the dough in half, and press the edge with a fork to crimp and seal. Cut 2 or 3 slits in the turnover and place on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden (20-30 minutes).

Previous Capitol Hill Cooks Posts

Capitol Hill Cooks is a home cooking recipe series featuring ingredients, ideas, and recipes from the neighborhood. Have a recipe you think we should get or share? Drop us a line at Em also writes about home cooking at, where you can find her guide to The Vegetarian Thanksgiving.

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