Sweet Potato Pie

New Orleans chef Susan Spicer tops her pie with bourbon-spiked Praline Sauce to accent its Southern roots.

Active Time:
30 mins
Refrigerate Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
1 (9-inch) pie

The sweet potato pie is seasoned with cinnamon, allspice, and freshly grated nutmeg, but it's the bourbon-pecan praline topping poured on top that gives this pie a New Orleans accent and sets it apart. The pie shell, sweet potatoes, and praline sauce can be made in advance, making this pie work for holiday baking when time is tight.


Pie Dough

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

  • 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Praline Sauce

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Praline Sauce

  • 2 cups (7 ounces) pecans

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup bourbon


Make the Pie Crust

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and shortening and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water and process until a dough just starts to form. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead gently. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish and trim the overhang to 3/4 inch; fold the overhang under itself and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom of the pie shell all over and refrigerate until firm.

  3. Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edge. Remove the foil and the weights and bake for about 12 minutes longer, or until the pie shell is golden brown and cooked on the bottom. Cover the rim of the pie shell with foil when it starts to brown. Remove the crust but leave the oven on.

Make the Filling and Bake

  1. Pierce the sweet potatoes and bake them for 1 hour, or until tender; cool slightly. Slit the skins and scoop the potatoes into a bowl. Mash until smooth. Whisk in the cream, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and scrape into the pie shell.

  2. Bake the sweet potato pie for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F and continue to bake for about 40 minutes longer, or until the filling is set. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool.

Make the Praline Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the pecans.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over moderate heat without stirring, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 20 minutes. Gradually stir in the heavy cream and continue stirring to dissolve any lumps of caramel, about 2 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon and the pecans.

Serve the Pie

  1. Top the pie with the sauce, gently spreading to the edges. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

    Sweet Potato Pie with Praline Sauce
    Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones

Make Ahead

The unbaked pie shell can be frozen for up to 1 week. The sweet potatoes can be baked and refrigerated overnight. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature or rewarm gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing

A smooth, medium-sweet Vouvray is an ideal partner to the creamy pie.

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