It's hard to imagine this time of year, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, and not think of pies. Or really anytime of the year. Even though many of us are participating in small get togethers, or celebrating with just immediate family this year, my sweet potato pie with toasted marshmallow meringue is the perfect dessert to serve along with Thanksgiving dinner, or really any event that needs a pie. Drop off one of these pies to your friend in quarantine. Bad break up, make this pie. Feeling crummy during quarantine, make this pie. There's always time for a good pie.
This sweet potato pie is made with my perfect all butter pie dough, and filled with a spiced, creamy roasted sweet potato custard filling, topped with thick and silky toasted marshmallow meringue. It's creamy and velvety with a crispy, flaky crusty and toasted, marshmallowy meringue. So, so good, and dare I say, better than pumpkin pie.
What's the difference between sweet potato and pumpkin pie?
The main difference between sweet potato and pumpkin pie is really just those two ingredients. I also find that sweet potato pies tend to be more velvety and thick whereas pumpkin pie is a bit more custardy. Sweet potatoes pack a lot more flavor, and sweet potato puree is thicker as well. They don't have as much water as pumpkins do. So, sweet potatoes have more of a concentrated flavor. But, in most recipes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash are interchangeable with some minor tweaks to the recipe.
How to make sweet potato pie
The pie crust for this recipe needs to be par baked, or blind baked, so that the crust doesn't get soggy during baking. This ensures a crisp bottom and a golden brown crust. Also important because this pie is baked at a low temperature to prevent cracking and to make sure the filling is baked slow and evenly and the low temperature doesn't contribute to much browning.
Roasting the sweet potatoes gives them the best flavor. The smell is absolutely amazing. They caramelize, deepen in flavor, and get super tender. After the potatoes are roasted, and cooled until warm enough to handle, they're pureed with sugar, maple syrup, molasses, spices and salt until smooth. Half and half, eggs and vanilla are whisked together in a large bowl until well combined, then added slowly added to the sweet potato mixture. The mixture will be smooth, velvety and a vibrant orange color.
This recipe calls for half and half, which contributes to the sweet potato mixture setting while baking and gives it a luxurious, silky texture. You can use evaporated milk or whole milk in place of half and half, but note that pies made with whole milk takes longer to bake and set due to the higher water content. I've tried this recipe with all three and they all work well, but the half and half is my favorite.
How to make toasted marshmallow meringue
I could literally eat this toasted marshmallow meringue off of a shoe, it's that good. Ok, that's gross and I wouldn't eat it off a shoe, but I'd be sad I couldn't. You get the idea. This meringue is amazing on all sorts of pies and tarts, on brownies, on cake and so much more. The meringue is made by cooking egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until heated to 160F, then whipped until fluffy, thick and glossy. Vanilla and salt are added for flavor, and the pie is topped with the meringue and toasted.
I hope you love this sweet potato pie with toasted marshmallow meringue as much as I do! If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes!
For more pie recipes, check out these posts:
Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue
- ½ recipe All Butter Pie Dough
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Toasted Marshmallow Meringue
- 3 large egg whites
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Roast the sweet potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place the sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet. Use a fork to prick a few holes into the potatoes to allow the steam to escape.
- Bake the potatoes for 50-60 minutes until super tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until they're cool enough to handle.
Bake the pie crust
- Line the chilled pie crust with scrunched up parchment paper. Scrunching up the paper first will help it fit into the pan better.
- Fill with pie weights or dried beans, making sure they're evenly distributed around the pie dish.
- Bake the crust on a rimmed baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is set and the edges are starting to brown. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie.
- Return the pie crust to the oven, and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the bottom is lightly browned. Remove the pie and the baking sheet from the oven and cool while making the filling.
Make the sweet potato filling
- While the potatoes are still warm, remove the peels. Measure out 2 cups of sweet potato.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the sweet potato, sugar, maple syrup, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the half and half, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Slowly whisk the half and half mixture into the sweet potato purée until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Return the pie plate to the baking sheet and bake at 400F for 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 300F. Continue baking the pie for an additional 45-60 minutes, or until the edges are set, the pie has a slight wobble and the internal temperature reads 175F.
- Transfer the pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 3 hours. The pie continues to cook with resident heat so be sure to cool at room temperature.
Make the marshmallow meringue
- Make the meringue right before serving the pie. Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan filled with two inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn't touching the water.
- Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved, the mixture has thinned and an instant read thermometer reads 160F.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment. While still hot, whisk the mixture on high speed until thick, glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Spread the meringue onto the pie. Use a culinary torch to toasted the meringue. Do not bake or put under the broiler as it will melt.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!