A southern-style sweet potato pie with the richness of brown butter, brown sugar, and evaporated milk, along with the "black-bottom" technique of Patti LaBelle's famous pie. The only soul food Thanksgiving pie you need!
If using a homemade or roll-up pie crust, roll pie crust into pan and crimp sides, and let chill in fridge or freezer at least 1 hour (this is important -- see note**)
Brush 2 tbsp melted butter in each pie crust. Sprinkle ¼ cup of dark brown sugar into each crust and bake for about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
Pierce sweet potatoes repeatedly with a fork and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake sweet potatoes for 60-70 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool to room temperature.
Prepare Brown Butter
Add the cubed butter to a light-colored sauté pan over medium heat. Heat, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat once it starts to smell nutty and turn golden brown.
Pour your browned butter into a heatproof container, scraping the pan to get all the brown bits, and set aside to cool.
Decrease oven temperature to 350°F.
Scoop the flesh of your cooled sweet potatoes into a large mixing bowl and puree until smooth using your preferred mixing tool (see note*)
Mix in the cooled brown butter, followed by the brown sugar, white sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, juice, and flour until well combined.
Taste the mixture to ensure that the flavors are to your preference, and then whisk in your eggs until smooth.
Pour filling evenly into your prepared pie crusts and smooth out the tops. Don’t overfill -- pies will rise a bit in the oven!
Bake on middle rack in preheated oven for about an hour, or until center of pies jiggle only slightly. Begin checking after 50 minutes.
Remove pies from oven and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
*Hand blender: I recommend using a hand blender like this one to purée your sweet potatoes. It makes it so easy, and eliminates the need for adding any water or milk to get it creamy and smooth. Otherwise I'd opt for a hand mixer like this one. I haven't tried this recipe using a potato masher or stand mixer, but let me know in the comments if you have success with either of those! **A note on pie crusts: I grew up eating sweet potato pies with store-bought crusts and I love them just as much! I usually use a double batch of my Easy All-Butter Pie Crust for this recipe, but store-bought crusts can be a great option, especially to save time!Whether you use a homemade crust or a store-bought roll-up crust, you'll need to chill the crust for at least an hour after it's been pressed into the pan. This is an important step to keep the pie crust from shrinking while you're baking the brown sugar layer into the crust. If by chance your crust still shrinks, when it first comes out of the oven it may still be pliable enough to smush it back up the sides of the pie pan with the back of a spoon -- it's a little wonky, but I've had to do that in a pinch.Type of pie pan: I prefer to use a regular size (9 in x 1.5 in; not deep dish) metal pan for this recipe. Using a metal pan minimizes shrinking and eliminates any risk from moving the pie directly from the freezer to the hot oven. I've tried this recipe with a glass pan, and although I didn't have an issue with the change in temperature from the freezer to the hot oven, the crust did shrink more during the blind bake. I haven't tried it with a ceramic pie pan, so I can't say for sure, but I would worry about the safety of an extreme temperature change.***Adding eggs: It's a good idea to wait to add in your eggs until you've added all your other filling ingredients, and tasted the filling to make sure that it has the flavor you want. That way if you need more of something you can add it before the eggs.Make ahead/freezing: These pies freeze very well! Once they're fully cooled, just wrap them well in plastic wrap, and then in foil to freeze. Pies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature or in refrigerator, keeping pies wrapped until thawed.Browning Butter: For more details and images on the process of browning butter, check out my How to Brown Butter post.