Gran’ma Lillie Simple Sweet Potato Pie Filling

From Pie to Die For by Wanda Hennig
Recipe by Beverly Jefferson’Dasté


Beverly Jefferson’Dasté

Beverly Jefferson-Dasté, who worked for the postal service for 33 years, started baking sweet potato pies commercially—and the old fashioned way. “I always had my dream of going into business for myself,” she says. One day she woke up to the fact that she had grandchildren and great-grandchildren and thought, “Before it’s too late, let me start pleasing myself and do what I’ve always wanted to do. So that’s what I did.”

1 1-pound sweet potato (yam)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
½ cup milk
2 eggs
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9-inch unbaked piecrust

Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Run cold water over it and remove the skin.

Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into unbaked piecrust. (Dasté chose not to share her secret piecrust recipe. She suggests purchasing a piecrust or using a favorite recipe.)

Bake at 350º for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Expect pie to puff up like a soufflé then sink as it cools.