If you love sweet potatoes, you’re gonna love them even more in this gluten free sweet potato pie! It’s a Southern classic made gluten free, and it’s silky smooth and delicious. The toasted meringue takes it completely over the top.
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I’m technically from the south, but sweet potato pie was never on our radar growing up. Probably because my mom is from Minnesota and sweet potatoes were never a thing for us back then.
Because of my dad being in the navy, we were always so far away from family. Our Thanksgivings were almost always spent with our neighbors. The food was set up buffet style. If sweet potatoes were on the menu, I either don’t remember them or skipped over them. But I surely don’t remember ever seeing a sweet potato pie.
Our Thanksgiving pies always consisted of pumpkin, apple, or pecan, and always chocolate chess pie (from our neighbors, the Hons). I never skipped over the chocolate chess pie. It was my favorite.
When I grew up and saw a recipe for sweet potato pie though, I really wanted to make it for Thanksgiving. I thought it looked a little plain so I decided to add a marshmallow-y meringue on top. Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I torched it, haha! I’m so glad I did because this pie was born and it’s now mine and Scott’s favorite Thanksgiving pie ever!!
WHAT’S IN SWEET POTATO PIE?
This pie begins with a custard base that’s whipped to perfection into a silky smooth pie filling. It’s similar to pumpkin pie but a little more sweet, and the meringue just knocks it into another realm!
The list of ingredients are:
- Gluten free pie crust — a half recipe of my gluten free pie crust or your favorite pie crust. If you’re dairy free, sub the butter with vegetable shortening.
- Sweet potatoes — I have a method for getting ahead with sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. More on that later.
- Butter — just a little bit is all you need. For dairy free, use coconut oil or vegan butter spread.
- Eggs and egg yolks — whole eggs and extra egg yolks for the filling, and egg whites for the meringue.
- Sugar — in the filling and the meringue.
- Nutmeg — nice warm spice that goes great with the sweet potatoes without overpowering.
- Salt — flavor enhancer.
- Molasses — also a flavor booster.
- Vanilla extract and/or bean — I use extract in the custard and seeds in the meringue topping. I love marshmallow meringue with little flecks of vanilla seeds. But if all you have is extract, that’s perfectly fine.
- Milk — whole milk, but if you’re dairy free whole fat canned coconut milk would work fabulously.
- Cream of tartar — used to stabilize the egg whites in the meringue.
MAKING THE FILLING
Because I can’t go one Thanksgiving without making my sweet potato souffle (unless I want a revolt from my family), I use a LOT of sweet potatoes! I used to peel them and then chop, boil, and mash them. That’s a lot of work, especially when you have many other things to do.
Around this time every year, I buy a bunch of sweet potatoes and bake all of them at once. Prick them with a fork, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until soft.
When cool enough, peel the skin off and load your food processor with the potatoes, a few at a time. Once pureed, divide them into smaller portions, put them in freezer safe containers or baggies, and freeze. Take out what you need when you need it.
You can also divide them into pre-measured amounts for each of your recipes, label them, and just thaw and dump!
I like to use my food processor to whip up the filling because it makes for a silky smooth pie. However, you can use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. It just won’t be quite as smooth and silky. but it’ll still be delicious!!
Whip the sweet potatoes with the melted butter, sugar, nutmeg, salt, and molasses. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks, followed by the milk. Process or whip until smooth and pour into prepared pie crust (unbaked).
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, or until the center jiggles only very slightly. Don’t worry if the pie cracks a little on the top after baking. It’ll all be covered up with the wonderful marshmallow-y meringue!
MAKING THE MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE
The marshmallow meringue is a personal favorite, but if that’s not how you roll you can always top this pie with freshly whipped cream. But I’d urge you to try this meringue topping because it’s incredible, especially in conjunction with the sweet potato!
If you’ve ever made Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, you’ve made marshmallow meringue. This is simply the base for Swiss meringue buttercream minus the butter. Sugar and egg whites are whisked over a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. Then the mixture is whipped on high speed until stiff peaks form. For full details, follow my recipe for gluten free witch’s hat cupcakes.
If you’ve never had sweet potato pie, you don’t know what you’re missing! I have faith that once you make this recipe, you’ll be a sweet potato pie lover for life 🥧
The Best Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pie
- ½ recipe Best Gluten Free Pie Crust (or your favorite pie crust recipe, or a store-bought pie crust)
- 2 cups sweet potato puree from about 2-3 large sweet potatoes
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp molasses
- ⅔ cup whole milk (or canned coconut milk)
- 2 tbsp butter (or coconut oil), melted
- 1 recipe marshmallow meringue
- Make the pie crust according to directions in recipe, or use a pre-made store-bought crust, unbaked. Set in refrigerator while making the filling.
- In a food processor or in a stand mixer or handheld mixer with the whisk attachment, process the sweet potatoes with the melted butter, sugar, nutmeg, salt, and molasses. Add the eggs and egg yolks. Process or whip until smooth. Slowly add the milk until incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour into pie crust and bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue to bake for another 35-45 minutes, or until center jiggles only slightly when shaken. If the crust begins to darken too much, cover the edges with foil or with a pie crust shield.
- Remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack. Place in refrigerator and chill while making meringue.
- Make meringue as per recipe instructions. Pile on top of chilled pie and, using a kitchen torch, toast the meringue.
- Return pie to fridge and allow to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Pie will keep in refrigerator for 3-4 days, but is best eaten in the first 1-2 days.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Sweet Potato Pie recipe.