Thanksgiving season equals pie season in my book. Although you can't go wrong with the classics like pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie, I always like to switch it up a bit by trying a new pie every year. This bourbon sweet potato pie is the perfect Thanksgiving pie, featuring seasonal sweet potato and a decadent topping of brown sugar meringue.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving comfort food; their bright orange color fits right in with any fall decor, and they're perfectly in season for the holiday. Although they're typically made into a marshmallow-covered sweet potato casserole, these root vegetables are just as tasty when made into dessert. This recipe calls for fresh sweet potatoes, but you can skip some steps by buying sweet potato puree at the store if you prefer.

This sweet potato pie recipe from American Egg Board is full of fall flavors like pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Add in the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes, the warm taste of a few tablespoons bourbon, and the addition of butter, and you have a pie that'll have everyone coming back for seconds.

The brown sugar meringue is like a fancy version of whipped cream, adding extra flavor and a light, fluffy texture that goes deliciously with the sweet potato filling. Plus, a dollop of meringue makes the whole dessert classy and aesthetically pleasing.

If you're prepping for Thanksgiving in the days leading up to the holiday, this is a good pie to bake ahead of time, as it will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Just make sure to make the meringue right before you serve it.

As for the par-baked pie crust, you can either buy a pre-made pie crust or make your own. Here's a great recipe that shows how to do it! You'll need pie weights to keep the pie dough from puffing up in the middle, which can be anything from specially bought weights to dry beans, rice, sugar or pennies.

How to Make Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes a few time with a fork, and wrap in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until cooked through and fork tender. Once they're soft and fully cooked, scoop the flesh out into a large bowl or medium bowl, and mash until completely smooth. This should result in about 2 cups of sweet potato.

Prepare your pie crust in a pie pan according to your recipe or package instructions. You should par-bake it for about 15 minutes at about 400 degrees F, depending on the recipe, before adding in the pie filling.

Add the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, bourbon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the mixing bowl with the mashed sweet potato. Mix sweet potato mixture together until fully combined and smooth.

Pour the sweet potato filling into the pie shell. Place on a baking sheet and cover the edges with foil to keep them from burning. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.

Take out of the oven and cool to room temperature, which should take about an hour. Then, chill for at least two hours and up to 4 days.

To make the brown sugar meringue, start by making a double boiler by bringing 1-2 inches of water to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Put the egg whites, brown sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together. Then, place the bowl over your double boiler, making sure that the bottom doesn't touch the simmering water.

Whisk the whites and sugar continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thinned out, about 3 to 4 minutes. You can also use an instant thermometer and whisk until the temperature is 160 degrees F.

Place the bowl back in the stand mixer and put the whisk attachment on. Beat for about 10-15 minutes on high speed, until stiff peaks form and the meringue is no longer warm. If stiff peaks aren't forming after 15-20 minutes, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and then put back on the mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.

When ready to serve the pie, spread the meringue on top of the chilled pie and pile it high in the center. If you want, use a culinary torch to toasted the edges, making the meringue tinged with golden-brown. Enjoy!

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Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie with Brown Sugar Meringue 

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 90 minutes

pie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 par-baked pie crust
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes a few time with a fork, and wrap in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until cooked through and fork tender. Once they're soft and fully cooked, scoop the flesh out into a large bowl or medium bowl, and mash until completely smooth. This should result in about 2 cups of sweet potato.

Prepare your pie crust in a pie pan according to your recipe or package instructions. You should par-bake it for about 15 minutes at about 400 degrees F, depending on the recipe, before adding in the pie filling.

Add the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, bourbon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to the mixing bowl with the mashed sweet potato. Mix sweet potato mixture together until fully combined and smooth.

Pour the sweet potato filling into the pie shell. Place on a baking sheet and cover the edges with foil to keep them from burning. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.

Take out of the oven and cool to room temperature, which should take about an hour. Then, chill for at least two hours and up to 4 days.

To make the brown sugar meringue, start by making a double boiler by bringing 1-2 inches of water to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Put the egg whites, brown sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together. Then, place the bowl over your double boiler, making sure that the bottom doesn't touch the simmering water.

Whisk the whites and sugar continuously until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thinned out, about 3 to 4 minutes. You can also use an instant thermometer and whisk until the temperature is 160 degrees F.

Place the bowl back in the stand mixer and put the whisk attachment on. Beat for about 10-15 minutes on high speed, until stiff peaks form and the meringue is no longer warm. If stiff peaks aren't forming after 15-20 minutes, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and then put back on the mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.

When ready to serve the pie, spread the meringue on top of the chilled pie and pile it high in the center. If you want, use a culinary torch to toasted the edges, making the meringue tinged with golden-brown. Enjoy!

Notes

The pie will last in the fridge for up to 4 days, but once topped with the meringue it’s best eaten immediately.