Aunt Rose’s Sweet Potato Pie

From A Southern Farmer’s Summer Supper

Photo by Dana Plucinski

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Aunt Rose’s Sweet Potato Pie

  • Author: Recipe by Chef Wanda Blake | Photo by Dana Plucinski
  • Yield: 1 9 inch pie 1x


I remember one Thanksgiving when we stayed at Aunt Rose’s house, and she and my mother cooked the meal together. I knew that my Aunt Rose was more creative with spice than my mom was, but I was a bit surprised as I saw her add a touch of love (aka cognac) to the pie filling. It was like watching the Black version of Julia Child, but my aunt was drinking cognac instead of Julia’s wine. Aunt Rose liked Hennessy.


Units Scale

Pie Crust

Makes one 9-inch single crust

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup chilled shortening, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons vodka, combined and chilled

Sweet Potato Filling

Fills one 9-inch single crust

  • 1 1/22 pounds sweet potatoes (Beauregard, Jewel, or Garnet)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cognac
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Pie Crust

I make my pie crust using the Cook’s Illustrated method, which adds a dash of vodka to keep the crust from getting dry.

Combine flour and salt in a food processor or mixing bowl. Process the chilled butter and shortening or cut in using a pastry cutter or a knife. Sprinkle with the chilled water-vodka mix and stir until the dough forms a ball. Chill for at least 45 minutes.

Filling and assembly

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Wash the sweet potatoes and poke a few holes in them with a fork. Roast for 40 minutes or until soft. Turn them over and roast for an additional 10–15 minutes if needed.

While potatoes are roasting, roll out the chilled pie dough and fix it into a 9-inch pie pan. Prick with a fork and refrigerate until filling is ready.

Cool roasted potatoes slightly, peel away their jackets, and whip the potato flesh until smooth. Mix in the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt plus the melted butter and Aunt Rose’s touch of love (aka cognac).

Beat the egg lightly and stir into potato mixture along with the heavy cream. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pour the sweet potato filling into the chilled pie crust. Bake for 40 minutes. If the center needs more cooking, loosely tent a piece of foil over the pie. This will direct the heat to the center and will keep your crust from drying out.

Let pie cool completely before slicing. Enjoy plain, with whipped cream, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Category: Dessert