Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

Cover recipe-  Southern Living, Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue: November 2010

The theme for the November issue of Southern Living is “Thanksgiving Classics:  Heartwarming Recipes to Savor and Share.”  Also featured are seasonal holiday menus, festive slow-cooker sides, recipes using leftover turkey, and a lightened version of Sweet Potato Casserole.

The cover recipe is a Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue.  The recipe author states:  This impressive dessert showcases one of fall’s sweetest gems.  With simple prep and make-ahead ease, it only looks like you spent hours in the kitchen. I do have to say that it was refreshing to see something besides a turkey on the cover of a November issue.  The idea of sweet potato pie is a bit foreign to a Southern Californian like me- we don’t see much of it around here- but it’s always fun to think about trying out something new.  Read on to find out how this recipe turned out… and if it deserved the cover spotlight!

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Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 50 min + chill time

Cook Time: 1 hour 10 min

Ingredients:

CRUST:
1/2 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
parchment paper
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. whipping cream

FILLING:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
3 cups lightly packed, cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes)
1 cup half & half
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE:
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme

Directions:

1.  Prepare crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Roll piecrust into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.  Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp.  Prick bottom and sides with a fork.  Line piecrust with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake 9 minutes.  Remove weights and parchment paper.
2.  Whisk together egg yolk and cream; brush bottom and sides of crust with yolk mixture.  Bake 6 to 8 more minutes or until crust is golden.  Transfer to a wire rack, and cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
3.  Prepare filling: Stir together melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and next 2 ingredients in a large bowl until mixture is well blended.  Add sweet potatoes and next 4 ingredients; stir until mixture is well blended.  Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared piecrust (Pie will be very full.)
4.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.  Transfer pie to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
5.  Prepare meringue: Beat egg whites and next 2 ingredients at high speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until foamy.  Gradually add sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
6.  Beat one-fourth of marshmallow creme into egg white mixture; repeat 3 times with remaining marshmallow creme, beating until smooth (about 1 minute).  Spread over pie.  Mound meringue in center of filling.  Swirl and spread with offset spatula or back of a spoon.
7.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for 6 to 7 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.

NOTE:  Pie can be made up to a day ahead.  Prepare recipe as directed through Step 4; cover and chill up to 24 hours.  Proceed as directed in Steps 5 through 7.

Tips:

*I tend to be rather crust-challenged, so I went ahead and used the refrigerated crust as they instruct in the recipe.  It's so easy to use a pre-made crust, but I'm sure there are people who might prefer to make their own.
*My crust got pretty dark after baking.  I'd recommend making sure that you don't get any of the egg wash mixture onto the rim of the crust.  I opted to use a pie shield for the entire remainder of the baking time.  This helped the rim of the pie crust from becoming burnt.
*The filling was easy to make if you think ahead.  I ended up baking my sweet potatoes since I wanted them to get as sweet and caramelized as possible.
*Speaking of sweet potatoes... I live in Southern California, where at a typical market a sweet potato has a brown skin with white interior.  Yams (around here) have a red skin with orange interior.  There's a big debate over these two, but I chose to use what is labeled as "yams" as my market.  Yams happen to be a sweet potato too.  I'm pretty certain I used the right thing.  I was told though that in different parts of the country, they are labeled differently.  How confusing is that?
*My pie filling cracked slightly on top, which was no big deal since it would be topped with the meringue.
*I made the pie one day, wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it, then took it out the next day and let it come to room temperature before I topped it with the meringue.  There was some moisture that had collected on the top of the pie so I took some paper towels and lightly dabbed at the moisture to remove.  I didn't want my meringue to become slippy slidy.
*The marshmallow meringue was easy to make, and it was delicious too.  I had a tough time getting it to pile a mile high.  My whites were nice and stiff, but when I added in the marshmallow creme- the mixture became more creamy and not quite as stiff.  It still looked nice, just not piled up like the photo.
*I had to bake my meringue for about 10 minutes to get it toasted and lightly browned.
*Serve this up the same day that you top with the meringue.

Source:  Southern Living, November 2010

The results:

This was my first time ever making and even tasting a sweet potato pie, so I really have nothing to compare it to.  I thought it would be more like pumpkin pie.  It was more dense than I expected.  The flavor of the filling was good, but the meringue put it over the top.  I loved, loved, LOVED the meringue!  Let me know if you have tried this recipe… and what you thought of it.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes… it’s the quintessential Southern pie!  When I think of sweet potato pie, I think of the south.  It just seems right that this was the kind of pie that was featured.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

4 Responses to “Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue”

  1. 1

    melissa — November 19, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    Sweet potatoes are horribly mislabeled as yams in this country (in some places. A true yam is a completely different vegetable altogether. Even more confusingly, some sweet potatoes come in different (non-orange) colors. It is very unlikely that anything you come across labeled “yam” in a regular grocery store is a true yam. http://www.sweetpotatoawareness.org/
    Looks good anyway :D!

  2. 2

    grace — November 20, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    marshmallow meringue? what a perfect topper to a pie like this! color me infatuated. :)

  3. 3

    Denise Michaels - Adventurous Foodie — November 20, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    I made sweet potato pie a couple years ago rather than pumpkin and I was blown away by how much better it was from pumpkin – and I’ve always loved pumpkin. Maybe it’s because it’s made from fresh sweet potatoes rather than pumpkin from a can – I don’t know for sure. But it was the most amazing, rich custard-y flavor.

  4. 4

    Stacey — November 26, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    Perfect!!! a new addition to our families Thanksgiving dinner…

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