Sweet potato casserole and sweet potato pie | Recipe perfection

Sweet Potato Pie

A good sweet potato pie is not the same as a sweet potato casserole. Image: Flickr / foodista / CC-BY

The Thanksgiving table often includes quite a few basics. The sweet potato casserole vs. sweet potato pie recipe debate is one that has been wide-ranging. The secret to tasty sweet potato recipes is to get the right tuber mixed with the right supporting cast.

The basics of sweet potato recipes

A sweet potato recipe will sometimes use the term “yam” interchangeably. In fact, Grandma’s recipe book probably includes a recipe for “Thanksgiving yams.” A yam, however, is not the same as a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are the traditional southern tuber used in Thanksgiving recipes. Yams are becoming more available in the United States, but be sure you intend to use them if that is what you buy. A yam is actually an African vegetable that looks, tastes and cooks differently than a sweet potato.

Sweet potato casserole recipe

A classic sweet potato casserole recipe usually mashes the sweet potatoes up with butter and brown sugar, then tops them with marshmallows. This recipe results in a cloyingly sweet dish that is more suited for dessert than a side dish. Instead, try steaming 1 pound peeled sweet potatoes, then mashing them together with just 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you feel like the marshmallow crust is an absolute necessity, try sprinkling the marshmallows with a little kosher salt before you put it in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Sweet potato pie recipe

Unlike sweet potato casserole, sweet potato pie recipes are actually intended for dessert. By adding eggs to a sweet potato pie recipe, you give it the structural integrity it needs to be a true pie. Blend 1 1/2 pounds steamed, mashed sweet potatoes with 1 1/4 cups sour cream. Add 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg and 5 egg yolks. Pour it into a 9-inch frozen pie shell, and top with 1 cup toasted pecans. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, and you’ve got a classic sweet potato pie.

Read more of our Thanksgiving Recipe articles:

Cranberry relish and cranberry sauce recipes
Thanksgiving recipes for kids
Green bean casserole recipe
Turkey Brine recipe

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