Mom’s Sweet Potato Pie

Mom’s Sweet Potato Pie

It’s just a few days out from American Thanksgiving now, and I couldn’t be more excited. Since I hit adulthood (and acquired all the nightmare prep for Christmas), Thanksgiving is the holiday I look forward to all year. I can barely wait to watch the blowing up of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade floats on Wednesday evening (it’s better than the parade itself), see all my family, watch the parade (God, let it not be too cold) and eat my body weight in my mom’s traditional Thankgsgiving feast (ok, let it be cold…doesn’t shivering burn calories?).

We all have our favorite part of my mom’s meal (Chris…I will save not a crumb of the sausage stuffing for you…that will make him crazy!). For me, it’s the sweet potato pie. I don’t know if it’s because it has been a part of our Thanksgiving feasts for as long as I have or if it’s just that good. Whatever the reason, it’s always the first thing I put on my plate. It’s also the thing I have three helpings of and surely the reason for my post-Thanksgiving food coma. I thought for the occasion, Scarlett and I would make it for you, dear readers.

Sweet Potato Pie

4 medium size sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 orange, juice and teaspoon zest
1/4 brown sugar2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350, grease four ramekins.

In a large bowl, mix sweet potatoes butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt using a hand blender. Add orange juice and teaspoon of zest and mix. Fill each ramekin leaving an inch at the top. Press mini marshmallows into the top of each ramekin. Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned and sweet potato bubbles slightly.

My mom typically makes it in a casserole dish the size of a swimming pool since she’s making it for the masses. I liked the idea of the ramekins and knew Scarlett would appreciate having the mini dish all to herself.

This dish is extremely easy. I did the difficult part–getting the recipe out of my mother. It’s not like it’s a Heston Blumenthal creation. It’s just the woman wouldn’t be nailed down on a single measurement. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “Mommy, how much butter do you use?”

Mom: “A lot.”

Me: “What’s a lot? I can’t use a ton. This is a site about feeding kids healthy meals.”

Mom: “Oh. Maybe you don’t want my recipe.”

Me: “God! How much do you put in??”

Mom: ” Ok. Just say a heaping tablespoon per sweet potato.”

Me: “So four tablespoons?”

Mom: “I guess.”

Now that was just for the butter. You’ll notice I cut that down to three teaspoons. However, if you’re apparently trying to clot your family’s arteries, feel free to use my mom’s minimum. There was similar dialog for maple syrup and cinnamon.

My mom also suggests adding apples. You’ll want to peel and slice the apple into thin wedges and then saute the pieces for a few minutes in, you guessed it, butter. You can dress the top of your dish with the apples and marshmallows. Or you could just go eat a can of lard, drive yourself to the nearest emerg and dine on something out of one of their vending machines. Whatever is more appetizing to you.

Scarlett loved pressing the marshmallows into the top. I, on the other hand, loved eating it. It was the perfect precursor to the most wonderful day.

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