America's Best Pies 2014-2015: Nearly 200 Recipes You'll Love (2014)

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SWEET POTATO

Brown Angel Sweet Potato Pie Heaven

Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

Gingerbread Sweet Potato Pie with Raisin Maple Glaze

Georgia Lowcountry Sweet Potato Pie

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Spicy Sweet Potato Pie

Maple Pecan Crunch Sweet Potato Pie

Streusel Topped Sweet Potato Dessert Pie

Sweet Potato Pie Crowned with Streusel

Sweet Potato Praline Pie

Sweet Potato Pie with Eggnog

BROWN ANGEL SWEET POTATO PIE HEAVEN

Saposta Foster, Atlanta, GA
2004 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

⅓ cup margarine or butter, melted

¼ cup sugar

FILLING

4 to 5 large sweet potatoes

1 cup Crisco all-vegetable shortening

1½ cups sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup lemon juice

1½ teaspoons lemon zest

GARNISH

Whipped cream and/or

Caramel

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix crumbs, margarine or butter, and sugar in a bowl. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 8- or 9-inch spring form pie pan. Form a layer about 2½ inches on the sides. Set aside.

For the Filling: Boil potatoes until tender. Let cool and then peel. Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher. Add shortening to potatoes and begin mixing well at a low speed using an electric mixer. Add sugars and eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing at a medium speed. Blend in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pie on a cooling rack for an hour. Serve with whipped cream and or caramel for garnish if desired.

MAPLE PECAN SWEET POTATO PIE

Jennifer Nystrom, Morrow, OH
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon table salt

¾ cup vegetable shortening

½ cup butter (not margarine)

1 egg, slightly beaten

⅓ cup cold water

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

FILLING

40-ounce can sweet potatoes, drained

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup cream

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large eggs

TOPPING

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup quick oats

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup butter, melted

MAPLE DRIZZLE

3 tablespoons heavy cream

Scant ½ teaspoon maple extract

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the salt. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until flour resembles cornmeal. Cut in butter until it resembles small peas. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork. Beat in water and vinegar. Quickly mix egg mixture in with the flour until flour just begins to hold together. Separate dough into halves and form each half into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly with plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least an hour and up to two days. Take one disk of prepared and refrigerated dough and roll it out and place in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

For the Filling: In a food processor, place drained sweet potatoes and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, cream, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and eggs. Process until well incorporated and smooth, about 10 more seconds. Pour mixture into prepared pie pan. Cover edge with foil or pie shield. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. While pie is baking, prepare topping.

For the Topping: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the brown sugar, oats, flour, and pecans until combined. Stir in melted butter until very well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

When pie has baked for 15 minutes, take out of the oven and remove pie shield. Turn the oven down to 375°F. Sprinkle topping over the top of the pie, spreading evenly. Replace pie shield and cover top very loosely with a piece of foil so topping does not burn. Put the pie back in the oven and bake an additional 45 to 60 minutes at 375°F. Check pie after 45 minutes. If a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (or almost clean), the pie is done. If not, return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes and check again.

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Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pie

For the Drizzle: While pie is baking, make the drizzle by mixing the maple extract with the cream then adding to the powdered sugar. With a fork, mix thoroughly until drizzle is smooth. Set aside.

When pie is done, remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. After pie is completely cooled, put the drizzle in a small zip top plastic bag. Snip off a very small corner of the bag. Squeeze drizzle over the pie. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

GINGERBREAD SWEET POTATO PIE WITH RAISIN MAPLE GLAZE

Karen Hall, Elm Creek, NE
2008 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

3 cups unbleached flour

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter-flavored Crisco, cold

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon ice cold water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

CREAM CHEESE LAYER

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg white

¼ teaspoon vanilla

FILLING

2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes

3 eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup evaporated milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon cloves

⅛ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon gingerbread or gingersnap cookie crumbs, finely crushed

GINGERBREAD RAISIN GLAZE

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

½ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped pecans

GARNISH

8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

Pastry cutouts, as desired (gingerbread men recommended)

For the Crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in Crisco until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, beat egg, water, and vinegar together. Add egg mixture slowly to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until mixture is moistened. Do not over mix. Divide dough and shape into three balls, flatten each to form a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Makes three single crusts. Use only one disk for this recipe. When ready, roll out a single crust and place in a 9-inch pie dish. You can freeze remaining disks for another use.

For the Cream Cheese Layer: In a small mixing bowl, blend together cream cheese, sugar, egg white, and vanilla until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture on bottom of pie shell.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sweet potatoes, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, milk, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and vanilla until well blended. Pour mixture over cream cheese layer. Protect edge of pie with foil to prevent over browning. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Sprinkle gingerbread cookie crumbs over hot pie top. Cool pie on rack.

For the Glaze: While pie cools, prepare glaze. Stir together water and cornstarch. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add maple syrup, and cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in raisins and pecans. Cool slightly; spoon onto cooled pie.

Before serving, pipe or dollop whipped topping on top of pie and garnish with pastry cutouts as desired.

Gingerbread Sweet Potato Pie

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GEORGIA LOWCOUNTRY SWEET POTATO PIE

John Sunvold, Orlando, FL
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1½ cups gingersnap crumbs

3 to 4 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING

8 ounces cream cheese

2 cups sweet potato puree

3 eggs

1½ teaspoons vanilla

1 stick melted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon mace

½ teaspoon nutmeg

CREAM TOPPING

2½ cups heavy cream

6 ounces white chocolate (broken into small pieces)

GARNISH

Praline pecans

Caramel sauce

For the Crust: Mix all ingredients together and press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in a 375°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until brown. Allow to cool down to room temperature before filling.

For the Filling: Mix sweet potato, cream cheese, eggs, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add sugar and spices and blend with mixer. Pour in pie crust.

Bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes. Begin checking after 40 minutes. Pie is done when it is set in the center. Remove from heat and cool on a cooling rack. Chill pie for least four hours.

For the Topping: Bring one cup of cream to a boil over medium heat. Add white chocolate and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and mixture is combined. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least four hours. In a large bowl, beat the rest of the cream with an electric mixer set on high speed. Beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add the white chocolate mixture and continue to beat until stiff. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the Garnish: Top pie with praline pecans. Drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired. Decorate pie as desired.

Georgia Low Country Sweet Potato Pie

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SOUTHERN SWEET POTATO PIE

Sarah Spaugh, Winston-Salem, NC
2007 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

2 cups flour

¾ cup chilled Crisco

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 egg yolk, beaten and added to ¼ cup ice water

1 teaspoon vinegar

NUT LAYER

⅔ cup finely chopped pecans

⅔ cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened

FILLING

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla

⅛ teaspoon mace

½ teaspoon nutmeg

TOPPING

1 cup whipping cream

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla

OPTIONAL GARNISH

Chopped nuts

Nutmeg

For the Crust: Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix the vinegar into the egg and water. Cut the Crisco into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Gradually add the liquid mixture until a ball can form. Chill dough. Roll out in a 12-inch circle and place in pie pan. Trim and crimp edges.

For the Nut Layer: Combine pecans and brown sugar. Then stir in softened butter. Place this in the bottom of the crust, pressing down evenly.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all of the ingredients. Mix well and gently pour on top of the nut layer in pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.

For the Topping: Whip ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Place on top of pie and garnish with a few chopped nuts if desired. May also sprinkle very lightly with nutmeg.

SPICY SWEET POTATO PIE

Carolyn Blakemore, Fairmont, WV
2006 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 1st Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1½ cups flour, sifted

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup Crisco buttered-flavored shortening

3 tablespoons cold water

BOTTOM OF PIE AND TOPPING

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup chopped pecans

FILLING

2½ cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

⅔ cup Carnation evaporated milk

For the Crust: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly. Sprinkle on water, stirring with a fork to form a ball. Wrap in wax paper. Chill. Roll out on wax paper. Place in pie plate.

For the Bottom of Pie Crust and Topping: In a small dish, combine brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle half of pecans on crust bottom in pie plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of topping, sprinkle remainder over pecans.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place cooked mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl; add sugar, spices and vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs and milk. Mix all together. Pour in crust.

For the Topping: Sprinkle remaining topping and pecans over filling. Cover fluted crust rim with foil strips. Bake in 425°F oven 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

MAPLE PECAN CRUNCH SWEET POTATO PIE

Jill Jones, Palm Bay, FL
2012 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup shortening

¼ tablespoon sugar

¼ tablespoon vinegar

1 egg

1½ tablespoon ice cold water

FILLING

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons flour

2 eggs, slightly beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2½ cups mashed sweet potatoes

15-ounce can evaporated milk

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

TOPPING ONE

1 cup pecans, chopped fine

2 tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup oatmeal

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING TWO

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

For the Crust: Mix flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut in shortening with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, vinegar, and water to mixture until it comes together and is a little sticky. Scrape out bowl onto a floured surface. Roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out on a floured surface and place in a pie dish.

For the Filling: Mix sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup with mashed sweet potatoes. Mix well. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Pour into an unbaked pie shell.

For Topping One: Mix pecans, oatmeal, cinnamon, maple syrup, and brown sugar until well combined. Sprinkle over top of pie. Bake pie at 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F. Place pie guard on crust and bake for 30 to 45 minutes more or until filling appears done. Cool 4 hours before cutting.

For Topping Two: Combine heavy cream and sugar. Mix until stiff peaks form. Top pie to your liking before serving.

Maple Pecan Crunch Sweet Potato Pie

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STREUSEL TOPPED SWEET POTATO DESSERT PIE

Carol Socier, Bay City, MI
2010 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 3rd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar

½ cup cold butter

FILLING

2½ cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

½ cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup evaporated milk

TOPPING

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons cold butter

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup mini vanilla chips

GARNISH (OPTIONAL)

Whipped cream

Cinnamon sticks

For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour and sugars; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into ungreased 9.5-inch deep dish pie plate. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Set aside while preparing filling and topping.

For the Filling: In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugars, salt, and spices. Mix well. Gradually add beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk, mixing until smooth. Set aside while preparing topping.

For the Topping: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add chopped pecans and vanilla chips. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared crust. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon sticks when served.

SWEET POTATO PIE CROWNED WITH STREUSEL

Phyllis Bartholomew, Columbus, NE
2004 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

2 cups flour

1 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons Super Rich butter powder

1 cup Crisco shortening

1 whole egg

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup ice water

STREUSEL TOPPING

2 tablespoons brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter, melted

FILLING

1 cup cooked sweet potato

¾ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1¼ cups heavy cream

GARNISH

Sweetened whipped cream

For the Crust: Mix the flours and butter powder together. Cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Beat together the other ingredients and stir into the flour. Mix just until incorporated. Form dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate to chill. Roll out about ⅓ of the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Place crust in a 9-inch pie dish.

For the Topping: Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to sprinkle on top of pie filling while baking.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook potato in microwave until done. Scoop out the inside to measure 1 cup. Place sweet potato and the rest of filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into pastry-lined pie dish. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 15 minutes. Then move the pie to the middle of the oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Continue to bake for about 10 minutes more and remove pie from oven. Quickly sprinkle on the streusel topping and return pie to oven. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until center is firm. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

SWEET POTATO PRALINE PIE

Christine Montalvo, Windsor Heights, IA
2009 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter-flavored Crisco, frozen and cut into small pieces

1 large egg

⅓ cup ice cold water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

FILLING

1 cup baked sweet potato (peeled), packed

3 eggs, slightly beaten

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

PRALINE TOPPING

3 tablespoons butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons half-and-half

½ cup chopped pecans

GARNISH

Whipped Cream

For the Crust: In a food processor, combine the flours and salt. Add the shortening pieces and pulse until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat together the egg, vinegar and water. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture and combine with a fork, just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix. Form dough into two disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for a least one hour or overnight. Roll out one piece of pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan and flute edges. Set aside.

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash sweet potatoes. Add all the other ingredients to sweet potatoes and mix with mixer and beat until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until set. While pie is baking, prepare praline topping.

For the Topping: In a small saucepan, stir together butter, brown sugar, and half-and-half. Bring to boiling; remove from heat. Stir in pecans. Remove pie from oven and place on a cookie sheet. Pour praline mixture evenly over hot pie. Bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream.

SWEET POTATO PIE WITH EGGNOG

Sarah Spaugh, Winston-Salem, NC
2003 American Pie Council Crisco National Pie Championships
Amateur Division 2nd Place Sweet Potato

CRUST

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Crisco shortening

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

FILLING

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¾ cup eggnog

1 egg

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

GARNISH

Whipped Cream

Nutmeg

For the Crust: Spoon flour into measuring cup and level. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in Crisco until all flour is blended to form pea-size chunks. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough will form a ball. Press dough between hands to form a 5- to 6-inch pancake. Flour rolling surface and rolling pin lightly. Roll dough into circle. Trim 1 inch larger than upside down pie plate. Loosen dough carefully. Fold dough into quarter. Unfold and press into pie plate. Fold edge under. Flute

For the Filling: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon; sprinkle in pastry shell. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. With electric mixer, beat butter, eggnog, egg, remaining cinnamon, sugars and vanilla into potatoes. Pour into pastry. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Cool. Cover and chill to store.

For the Garnish: If desired, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

CREDITS

American Pie Council
Board of Directors

Rick Barton, D&W Fine Pack

Joseph DiPaolo, Pinnacle Foods LLC

Dennis Dipo, Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies

Barbara Dolbee, Bonert’s Slice of Pie

Richard Hoskins, Colborne Foodbotics

Chris Kelley, Publix Super Markets

Mary Pint, Legendary Baking

Christine Valley, Jessie Lord Bakery

Marsha Wickersham, Wick’s Pies

Susan Mahoney, Associate Board Member

Photography Courtesy of…

Sue Ade, Food Columnist, Morris Publishing Group

Brion Price Photography

California Raisin Marketing Board

Catherine Colombo

Christie’s Photography

Linda Hundt

Tye Ridolfi

Gunnar Soderlind Photography

Sarah Spruytte