Being Thankful for Sweet Potato Pie

Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving dinner is about much more than the turkey – it is also about the pie! In time for Thanksgiving baking we are fortunate to have Lauren Bolden of Woodstock, Georgia’s Pie Bar share a family sweet potato pie recipe with us.

The Pie Bar is a cute shop in downtown Woodstock that sells wonderful pies.  It has been open just since September but it is already an asset to the Woodstock community.

Being Thankful for Sweet Potato Pie
Lauren has perfected her pie crust!

Lauren grew up making pies using frozen pie dough.  A few years ago she decided to learn how to make homemade crust and after much experimentation she has it perfected!

She and her husband, Cody, began selling pies at area Farmers Markets.   There they built a client base and met many of the local farmers.   They took a big leap in starting their own pie shop earlier this year.  Insisting on using local ingredients when they are available,  Lauren enjoys building relationships with farmers.  Peaches, pecans, apples and blueberries are all locally grown.

Being Thankful for Sweet Potato Pie
Lauren and Cody Bolden

Like all good recipes, the quality of the finished dish depends on your ingredients.  For good sweet potato pies you MUST start with quality, cured sweet potatoes.  Like the ones you have grown!

Bolden Family Sweet Potato Pie

Makes two pies

– 2 All Butter Pie Crusts (par-baked)
– 3 medium sweet potatoes (roasted in oven)
– 1 can evaporated milk (5oz can)
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 8 tbs melted butter
– 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp vanilla

​Wash and prick (with a fork) sweet potatoes. Roast potatoes at 400F​ for 1 hour, or until soft. Cool potatoes, remove skin. Pulse sweet potatoes in blender or food processor until smooth/pureed.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.

Place pie shell on baking sheet and fill with parchment paper. Add uncooked beans or pie weights to shells and bake for approximately 7-10 minutes. Remove parchment paper filled with beans/weights; cool shells slightly. You do not want to cook the shells completely. If shell begins to puff up, use a fork to prick slightly.

Combine pureed sweet potatoes, sugar, melted butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Once combined, add evaporated milk and eggs. Whisk until smooth.

Fill par-baked pie shell with sweet potato filling and return to oven for 35-40 minutes; rotating 180 degrees halfway through. Use a toothpick to check the center of the pie; it should come out clean. Use the back of a teaspoon to lift the edge of the pie shell to check to see if your crust is complete.

Cool pie on the counter for up to 2 hours. Keep pie refrigerated up to 4 days.

We like to top our sweet potato pie with our homemade cinnamon whipped cream. That recipe is below:

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

– 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
– 9 TBS Confectioners Sugar
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Whip heavy whipping cream in stand mixer (or hand mixer) until you notice a slight trail. Add cinnamon, then confectioners sugar one TBS at a time as you continue to mix. Mix until whipped and stands on its own. Store in the refrigerator.

A Sweet Potato Tradition

Recently Grade 6 students of the Waldorf School of Atlanta harvested 960 pounds of sweet potatoes with the help of the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Fred Conrad.  This has become a grand tradition for the school; it is the 5th year of the harvest.

The video of the harvest shows the importance of having young people involved in growing food.  As you watch, look at the facial expressions of the students.  Thank you Lindsey Lingenfelter for sharing the video.  Nine hundred and sixty pounds of sweet potatoes will make alot of pie!

From garden to table….

Happy Baking!

Sweet Potato Harvest Time in Georgia

Sweet Potato Harvest Time in Georgia
Sweet Potato Harvest Time in Georgia
Sweet Potatoes in Basket

It is sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) harvest time in Georgia.  At this point your potatoes should have been growing for 90-120 days and you will want to harvest them just before frost.

School gardeners sometimes use sweet potatoes as a way to keep their gardens productive, and relatively carefree, during the summer.  Harvest is a fun way to get students involved.

Community gardens sometimes have a plot just for community potatoes.  Maybe it is time for a harvest party!

Sweet Potatoes Harvest Time in Georgia
Victorian Garden, Savannah

Home Garden Sweet Potatoes is a useful guide to growing and harvesting this delicious crop.

Harvesting Your Sweet Potatoes

Northern Georgia has already experienced a light frost (October 19th) so set aside some time to get this chore completed.  Once temperatures get cold your potatoes may start to rot in the ground.

On harvest day your soil should be dry.  It is difficult to harvest underground crops in the mud!

Find the primary stem of your plant.  The crop may be formed up to 18 inches from that stem so use that as a guide.  Garden forks work well if your soil is loose enough.  Be careful; the potatoes can bruise very easily.

Storing Your Sweet Potatoes

After harvest, cure the unwashed potatoes by letting them air dry in a shady location at a warm temperature for several days.  Next, carefully store them in a cool, dark area for several months.  Do not store them in the refrigerator.

Some gardeners report success by wrapping each potato in newspaper and storing them in plastic bins. Others store their harvest in plastic bins of clean sand.  Many community gardeners don’t have a large storage area and they use their attic or garage for storage.  Which ever method you choose, protect your potatoes from rodents.

You can enjoy sweet potatoes in many forms – baked, mashed, and in muffins.  Most Southerners have delicious memories of sweet potato pie!

Happy Gardening!