When the tangy sweetness of buttermilk pie and the rich, slightly savory flavor of sweet potatoes come together in this Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie, you get a smooth, creamy dessert that gives you the best of both worlds. Packed with warm fall spices and surrounded by a wonderfully flaky crust, this pie will be a big hit at your next holiday meal.
Classic Southern Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie and buttermilk pie are both classic desserts that have been holiday staples for generations in the American South. Sweet potato pie is very similar to pumpkin pie, with the same golden-brown color and warm spices, while buttermilk pie is a tangier custard-based pie. Made by combining these two Southern favorites, sweet potato buttermilk pie is a warmly spiced and tangy pie with a creamy, custard-like texture.
Buttermilk pie uses super easy-to-find, staple ingredients that everyone has in the pantry. Using it as a base for a sweet potato pie saves both time and money. That makes this the perfect pie to whip up on a budget.
What Is Sweet Potato Pie?
Similar to pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie is a custard pie that sits right on the line between sweet and savory. A custard pie is any kind of pie that relies on eggs to hold the filling together. The sweet potatoes in this recipe make it heartier and firmer than most other custard-based pies, and they add a richness and complexity to the flavor.
Almost all of the ingredients for this pie are pantry staples. Find the exact amounts you’ll need for everything in the recipe card.
- Sweet Potatoes: Baked, peeled and pureed.
- Butter: Melt the butter, then let it cool down slightly.
- Eggs: Beat them lightly in a small separate bowl before adding them.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works best.
- Ground Nutmeg
- Salt: If you use salted butter, you may want to skip this.
- Granulated Sugar
- Buttermilk: Full-fat buttermilk works best in this recipe.
- Baking Soda: Make sure to use baking soda, and not baking powder.
- Pie Crust: You can use a frozen pie crust from the store, or make my favorite homemade pie crust.
- Whipped Cream: For serving.
Are Yams the Same as Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same, though sweet potatoes in grocery stores are often labeled as yams, especially in the South. True yams are larger, harder and starchier than sweet potatoes, and their flesh is white instead of orange. Stay away from these, and check the fine print when buying “yams” at the store – unless they’re true yams, the FDA requires that the “sweet potato” label is also used.
How to Make Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
The steps for making this pie are pretty simple, especially if you’re using pie crust you bought at the store. Your pie will spend most of the prep time in the oven. First, you’ll bake the sweet potatoes, and then the pie itself.
Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: First, preheat the oven to 400°F. Then use a sharp knife to carefully poke holes in the tops of the sweet potatoes.
Bake the Sweet Potatoes Until Tender: Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them for 50 minutes, or until they’re tender in the middle. Let the sweet potatoes cool before you peel and slice them, and then mash them up in a bowl and set it aside. Once the sweet potatoes are done, turn down the oven temperature to 350°F.
Combine the Wet Ingredients: Mix together the mashed sweet potatoes, melted butter, and beaten eggs in a medium mixing bowl until they have combined fully.
Combine the Dry Ingredients: Mix together the flour, spices, salt, and sugar in a second bowl until you have an even blend of all the ingredients.
Mix It All Together: Add the dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture, and stir everything until it’s fully combined.
Add the Buttermilk and Baking Soda. Finally, mix together the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir this into the sweet potato mixture.
Bake. First, bake the pie crust according to the directions on the package, and then remove it from the oven. Gently pour the pie filling into the baked crust, and bake the whole thing for about 65 minutes, or until the center sets and the top of the pie reaches an even golden brown color.
Cool and Serve. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing it. Serve it with your choice of whipped cream. You can serve at room temperature, or chill the pie before serving if you prefer.
Tips for Success
Sweet potato buttermilk pie is easy to make, and you’ll love it when it’s done. Follow these helpful tips to make this pie the best it can be.
- Canned Sweet Potatoes: You can use canned sweet potatoes instead of fresh ones to save time. Make sure to drain any liquid before adding them. If you get potatoes canned in syrup, you may want to reduce the sugar to taste.
- Par-Bake Option: If you’d like, you may par-bake the pie crust for half of the recommended baking time on the package, instead of fully baking the crust before using it. This will lead to a softer texture.
- Perfect Crust Edges: If the pie crust edges are browning too quickly, you can cover them with aluminum foil or a pie shield to prevent over-browning.
Store leftover pie in the fridge for up to 4 days. To make sure that the custard stays moist and no other food odors absorb into the crust and filling, it’s best to wrap the pie well in plastic wrap. Wait to add the whipped cream until you serve the leftovers, or it can soak into the custard and make it slightly soggy.
Can I Freeze This?
You can, although freezing and thawing it might change the texture of the filling. To freeze it, cool the pie down completely, and then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by another layer of foil. Freeze it for up to 3 months, and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before you dig in.
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
- 2 cups baked sweet potato puree, about two medium sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk, full fat
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 9- inch homemade pie crust, or store bought
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife, carefully poke holes in the tops of two sweet potatoes. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the middle is tender. Let the sweet potatoes cool, and then mash them in a bowl. Set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the mashed sweet potato puree, melted butter, and eggs. Set aside. In a second bowl, blend together the all-purpose flour, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and sugar. Add the dry mixture to the sweet potato mixture, and stir until fully combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and baking soda. Blend into the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake the pie crust according to the directions on the package. Gently pour the pie mixture into the crust, and bake uncovered for 65 minutes, or until the center is set.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing. Serve with your choice of whipped cream.
- To Store: Store in the fridge for up to 4 days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
- To Freeze: Cool completely and wrap in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw fully in the fridge before serving.
More Easy Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas
- Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie
- Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Best Pumpkin Bread
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