Hi Bold Bakers!
We’re talking about altitude — but not in an airplane. My Mile-High Sweet Potato Pie has a fluffy, pillowy meringue topping that is baked right in the oven but is truly out of this world.
I never knew putting marshmallow-meringue and sweet potato together could taste so good, but the combo is what makes this recipe so fantastic. It’s all the things I love: soft, sweet, simple, and comforting. If you’re are a fan of pumpkin pie, but are feeling adventurous and want to try something slightly different, look no further.
For this recipe, meringue is simply added on top of what is a classic sweet potato pie — which is a traditional Southern dessert here in the United States. It is often served during the holiday season in lieu of pumpkin pie, which is more popular in other regions of the country.
The holidays are all about reflecting, practicing gratitude, and giving — so be sure to give yourself the gift of generous clouds of meringue!
What Is Meringue?
Meringue is a sweet dessert topping made by stiffly beating egg whites and sugar until stiff. The light mixture is believed to have originated in Switzerland and is often associated with Swiss, French, Polish, and Italian cuisines. It’s usually mixed with an acidic ingredient, such as lemon, vinegar, or cream of tartar — like we’re using in today’s recipe.
I like to make it once the pie is out of the oven and cooling, so there’s no added prep time in the beginning. It comes out thick and glossy and makes beautiful mountain-high, dreamy peaks.
If you’re not up to making meringue, you can simply serve the pie with fresh whipped cream or homemade marshmallows for an equally delicious treat! All the options are easy and fun.
What Does Torching The Pie Do?
A brûléed pie is a sign of a seasoned baker and yet it’s so easy to do. When you lightly toast the meringue with a quick flare of fire, the sugary crust gets a light, satisfying crunch. The now caramelized meringue offers a nice golden brown color and heavenly texture — a little brittle on top and fluffy underneath. The torch can be fun, but I will say, the oven browning means velvety, crispy, and warm meringue — kind of like a toasted marshmallow!
If you don’t have a mini kitchen torch, you can always place the pie topped with meringue in the over at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
What You Need To Make Mile High Sweet Potato Pie:
- 9-inch (23cm) pie tin
- Rolling pin
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Double boiler (or a pot and heat-safe bowl)
- Electric mixer
- Kitchen torch (optional)
How To Make Mile High Sweet Potato Pie:
This is as easy to make as pumpkin pie, but with even more flavor on top because of the magical meringue. Truly, that’s the power of sugar and sweet potato! If you need a few reminders, here are 7 Tips & Tools for Baking the Best Pies. Now for the steps: (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Roll out the Pie Crust and line a 9-inch (23cm) pie tin with it. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
In a bowl, blend the cooked sweet potato, butter, sugar, and evaporated milk together until smooth.
Add the vanilla, egg, yolk, and cinnamon and blend until combined.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for about 60 minutes, until the filling is firm and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before topping with meringue.
Prepare the meringue: place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and whisk constantly for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put the egg whites in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl rests on top of the pot and the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Remove from the heat and beat the egg white mixture with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until thick and glossy, and it holds medium peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Pile the meringue generously on top of your pie. You can lightly toast the meringue with a mini kitchen torch if you have one, or place in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted and golden brown.
This pie will keep at room temperature for several hours. For longer storage, cover loosely and refrigerate for up to two days.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Mile High Sweet Potato Pie:
- For the yummiest results, use my Homemade Pie Crust or 5-Minute No-Roll Pie Crust. If you’re not feeling up to it, you can also use a store-bought pie crust to make the process even quicker!
- Sweet potatoes can easily be steamed until tender or cooked in the microwave, but you can also use canned sweet potato puree if that’s easier.
- If you don’t have a double boiler to heat the egg whites, you can put the egg whites in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl rests on top of the pot and the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Don’t forget to keep whisking the egg whites while making the meringue or it may curdle!
- Sugar melts at a higher temperature than the egg whites need for pasteurization, so once the sugar is melted, you know the egg whites are also safe to eat!
- The only way to know that the sugar has melted in the egg whites is by feel – every minute or two, lift the whisk out of the egg whites and rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers. When the mixture is no longer gritty, you know the sugar has melted.
- Don’t want to make meringue? You can serve the pie with fresh whipped cream for an equally delicious treat!
- If you are a fan of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, try subbing my easy Homemade Marshmallows for the meringue. Cover the top of the pie with marshmallows and toast with a torch or in a 350°F (180°C) oven until golden.
How To Store Mile High Sweet Potato Pie:
Meringue is the best right after it is made because it only holds for a few hours at room temperature and can weep when it is refrigerated.
If you plan to make a few of these pies in advance, leave the meringue off and store it well wrapped in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Top with meringue the day you wish to serve it.
If you do top the pie with meringue and want to snack on leftovers at a later time, cover it loosely after a few hours at room temperature and refrigerate it for up to two days.
Make More Pie Recipes:
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!
Full (and printable) recipe below!