Forget the Pumpkin and Make a Sweet Potato Pie This Thanksgiving
For the next few weeks, no pie will be discussed, described, and promoted more than pumpkin pie. There will be debate over the use of fresh pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin, controversy over crust versus cracker tests, and careful and detailed comparisons of different pumpkin breeds. I suggest you just skip it all and make a sweet potato pie instead.
If your only context for this iconic southern product that like most good food was delivered to us by African Americans is the real Walmart panic caused bythis viral video , that’s too bad, because this pie is everything you want from festive autumn dessert. It might be a testament to my southern bias – not a single bite of pumpkin pie left those lips until I was 20 and dated a dude in Tampa – but I truly believe that sweet potatoes kick a shiny orange pumpkin butt. It combines all the warm and spicy notes you get from pumpkin, but it’s just better .
Before we start picking up the rage, let’s take a look at some facts. The pumpkin itself is bland. Take a slice of fried sweet potatoes and a slice of fried pumpkin. Eat each one. Which taste is best? Yes, they are sweet potatoes, they are sweet and delicious. On the other hand, pumpkin tastes like the less delicious butternut squash. Pumpkin pie gets all its deliciousness from the spices it uses – which is why we eat pumpkin spice lattes rather than pumpkin pie lattes – while sweet potatoes are simply enhanced by them. If you’re someone who avoids canned foods, making and processing your own sweet potatoes will be much easier than dealing with fresh pumpkin. Also, the texture of the sweet potato pie is more velvety with a less harsh mouthfeel, which I consider to be an advantage.
When it comes to making sweet potato pie, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here as there are tons of good recipes out there, including Patti Labelle’s . You can boil , simmer or fry sweet potatoes , but you should always use condensed milk, which makes the dessert richer and more festive.