Decadent Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

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Sweet potato pie is almost one of the staples that everyone loves on Thanksgiving. Have you ever wondered how you can make this pie even better? Transform the butter into brown butter and make it a Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie! 

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie

It may seem like a task to bake a pie at home, but this recipe is actually very easy to follow. The best part here is that if you feel making a pie crust from scratch is too much work, you can actually use store-bought pie crust as well. 

Moreover, you may wonder how exactly just turning butter into brown butter can make that major difference to the flavor of the pie. Trust me, it does. When you brown butter, the milk solids settle at the bottom, and all the extra water evaporates.

This, in turn, creates a nutty and toasty flavor which surely elevates the whole flavor experience of eating the pie! So yes, it truly is worth trying the recipe, especially if you haven’t tried desserts made with brown butter before!

The only shortcut that you cannot take in this recipe is to use canned sweet potatoes instead of fresh ones. Canned sweet potato puree has a very high water content which can, in turn, change the overall texture and flavor of the pie, so it isn’t recommended. 

In this article, you will find a complete guide on how to make this pie, from the pie crust to the filling. You will also find a list of equipment that you will need to make the pie, along with the ingredients, method, and also what you can serve it with! Now, let us take a look at the recipe right away! 

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What Equipment Will You Need To Make Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie? 

  • Measuring Cups – Here, to bake the pie crust even more so than the filling, it is important to get precise measurements. So, a set of measuring cups will be needed to make this recipe. 
  • Measuring Spoons – To measure all the ingredients that will be needed in much smaller quantities, you will need a set of measuring spoons. 
  • Bowl – Here, you will need a total of three bowls for this recipe. Two large ones will be needed to make the pie crust and the filling, respectively. The third bowl will be needed to transfer the brown butter, too, once it is ready. For that, a medium-sized bowl will be enough. 
  • Food Processor – Not everyone is used to making a pie crust by hand, so a food processor will be a very handy tool to make the crust more easily. 
  • Plastic Wrap – To chill the dough once it is ready, we will wrap it in plastic wrap first and then place it in the refrigerator. This will prevent skin from forming on the dough. 
  • Pie Pan – You will need a deep pie pan, something that can hold all the filling in with ease. The recommended size to go for is a pan that is 9 inches in diameter. 
  • Rolling Pin – A large rolling pin will be needed to roll out the dough once it is ready and chilled for a sufficient time. 
  • Paring Knife – You will need a small paring knife to cut off all the excess dough that will be overhanging on the pie pan once it is lined. 
  • Parchment Paper – Blind baking the pie crust is necessary, and hence, you will need parchment paper for the same. 
  • Dried Beans – This is again for the blind baking process. Alternatively, you can also use rice or pie weights for the same. 
  • Whisk – A whisk will be needed to make a smooth filling for the pie. 
  • Fork – You will need a fork to mash the sweet potatoes once they are done baking and also one to crimp the sides of the pie. 
  • Spatula – A silicone spatula will be a handy tool while making this pie as it will ensure easy transfer of the filling into the pie crust. 
  • Aluminum Foil – You will need heavy-duty aluminum foil for baking the sweet potatoes before making the filling with them. 
  • Baking Tray – A baking tray will be needed multiple times in this recipe. Firstly, to bake the sweet potatoes, then for blind baking, and finally, to bake the pie in the end. 
  • Saucepan – You will need a medium-sized saucepan to make the brown butter. 
  • Cooling Rack – Lastly, once the pie is out of the oven and before serving it, you will need to cool it thoroughly for a few hours, for which you will need a cooling rack as it ensures even cooling. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie? 

Preparation TimeResting TimeBaking TimeTotal Time
50 Minutes2 Hours 30 Minutes1 Hour 10 Minutes4 Hours 30 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie? 

For The Pie Crust :

  • All-Purpose Flour – Firstly, you will need about 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour to make the pie crust. I would recommend not using bread flour and cake flour as they have varying amounts of gluten, which can change the texture of the pie. 
  • Butter – To make the pie crust, you will need ½ cup or a single stick of cold, unsalted butter. Again, try not to use salted butter, as it will change the flavor of the pie. 
  • Sugar – You will need 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar for this pie crust just to give it a great flavor. Granulated or caster sugar will work perfectly fine. 
  • Salt – Salt will help enhance the overall flavor of the pie crust, so you will need ½ teaspoon of the same. 
  • Cold Water – Here, the water has to be ice cold as otherwise, the butter will melt and not create a shortcrust. You will need six tablespoons of the same. 

For The Filling : 

  • Sweet Potatoes – To make a filling that is enough for a single pie, you will need roughly two pounds of sweet potatoes, which will give you a yield of 2 cups of puree. Two large sweet potatoes should work just fine. 
  • Sugar – It isn’t a dessert without some good old sugar, and hence for this recipe, you will need ¼ cup of granulated sugar or caster sugar. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Yes, we will be adding just a little flour to the filling as well, as it will help with thickening. You will need two tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and here, too, I recommend not using any other type. 
  • Butter – You will need about four tablespoons of unsalted butter to brown it and then add it to the filling. 
  • Eggs – Eggs are the wet ingredients that will help hold the filling together and also help combine everything, so you will need three large eggs for this recipe. 
  • Plain Yogurt – To give the filling a slightly sour flavor, you will need ½ cup of plain yogurt. 
  • Heavy Cream – Heavy cream will help give the filling a creamy consistency, so you will need ½ cup of the same for this recipe. 
  • Salt and Cinnamon – Salt will help enhance all the flavors, and ground cinnamon will add much-needed spice to the filling. Hence you will need one teaspoon of each. 
  • Ginger and Cloves – Finally, ginger and cloves also help with added flavor to the pie, so you will need ½ teaspoon each for the recipe. 
Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie 2

Steps To Make Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie

1. Prepare The Sweet Potato And The Pie Crust

For this recipe, we will start off with the pre-preparations, as there are a few that need to be taken care of. Firstly, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes and place them on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. 

Place the sweet potatoes in the oven and let them bake for close to 1 hour until they are completely soft when you poke them with a fork or knife. Do not boil the potatoes that way; they will absorb excess water, which in turn will make the filling very runny. 

While your potatoes are baking, you can start preparing the pie crust. For that, in the food processor bowl, take the all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt and mix it all together. Then, add cubes of cold, unsalted butter to it and pulverize. 

Here, please make sure that you don’t pulverize too much, as the heat from the blades will end up melting the butter, and that is something we really don’t want. Once you pulverize the mixture for a couple of minutes, it should resemble the texture of the sand as the butter will be pea-sized and all mixed in with the flour. 

After you get the desired texture, start by adding in 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water and mix the dough again, just until everything is combined together. It is completely fine if the dough is not extremely smooth, but if it feels too rough and if everything is not coming together, add in the last tablespoon of water too. Your dough is almost ready! 

2. Bringing The Dough Together And Other Preps

As the dough reaches a consistency where everything is together, you can transfer it to a floured surface. Then, knead the dough a couple of times, just until it is smooth and pliable. Make sure not to knead the dough too much, as that will form gluten and ruin the consistency that we need. 

After the dough is perfectly smooth and pliable, wrap it up in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. If you have more time in hand, you can even refrigerate it for longer, with the maximum being overnight. While your dough is resting, you can finish the rest of the pre-preps. 

Start by browning the butter. For that, add the unsalted butter that you measured out for the filling into a saucepan. Start melting it over medium heat, and as time passes, you will hear the bubble starting to crackle, which is a great sign! 

Soon, you will be able to see the milk solids separate at the bottom and the butter turning chestnut brown. Oh, and how can I forget to mention that nutty aroma which will circle your kitchen! These are all great signs. Once your butter is sufficiently browned, which should take around 7 minutes, transfer it to a medium bowl and let it cool. 

Once the sweet potatoes are thoroughly baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely. This will take a little while, and that is completely fine. Just like that, your pre-preparations for this recipe are done. 

3. Blind Baking

Once your dough has chilled for at least two hours, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven again to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

After the dough has again reached a pliable texture, take off the plastic wrap and transfer it to a heavily floured surface. Roll the dough out till it reaches a diameter of almost 13 inches, which is perfect. 

Then, carefully transfer the rolled dough into the pie pan, making sure that the dough covers the pan properly and sticks to the base of it throughout. You will have some overhung dough on the sides, you can cut that off with a paring knife, and the excess dough can be used to repair any tears in the lined pie. 

After all the excess has been removed, push the sides in on the edges with your fingers, creating a crimping effect all around. Cover the lined dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20-30 minutes. This will ensure that the crust does not shrink while baking. 

Then, add a sheet of parchment paper to the rolled dough and fill it halfway with rice or dried beans. Bake the crust on a baking tray for 15-20 minutes, just until halfway done. Then, take it out of the oven and place it on a cooling rack, letting it cool completely. 

4. Making The Filling

By the time you keep your pie crust in the oven for blind baking, the sweet potatoes will have cooled down completely. So, you can start making the filling. Firstly, scoop out the flesh of the sweet potato into a large bowl and discard the skins. 

Then, mash the sweet potato with the help of a masher or a fork until it is smooth in texture. To that, add the sugar, salt, spices, heavy cream, yogurt, and flour and whisk till everything is smooth and well combined. 

After that, add in the eggs and brown butter, slowly and a little at a time. Whisk again till the mixture is smooth in texture, and voila, your filling is ready! Now that your crust and filling are both ready, you can assemble the pie. 

5. Assemble And Bake

Lastly, once all the preparation is done, you can assemble the pie and do the final baking. Firstly, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, in the pie crust that was blind-baked, add to the pie filling. 

Place the pie onto a baking tray and bake for 50 minutes. Once you take the pie out of the oven, it will be a little wobbly, but that is fine. Place it on a cooling rack and let the pie cool thoroughly before you serve it with your favorite sides! 

What Can Be Served With Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie?

  • Whipped Cream – Whipped cream probably makes the best accompaniment for a brown butter sweet potato pie. Lightly whipped cream with some powdered sugar will do wonders with this recipe. 
  • Vanilla Ice Cream – A simple vanilla ice cream compliments the flavor of brown butter and sweet potatoes really well. 
  • Meringue – You can either make some chewy meringue cookies to go with this pie or pipe some on top and torch it to enjoy a sweet and soft consistency with this rich pie. 
  • Coconut Cream – Coconut cream also works very well with the nutty flavor of brown butter and sweet potatoes, creating a wonderful balance that should surely be tried. 
  • Pecan Streusel – Last but not least, pecan streusel also makes a great crunchy addition to serve along with this decadent pie. 

Nutritional Information

Calories416 kcal
Carbohydrates48 grams
Protein5 grams
Fat23 grams
Saturated Fat15 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat1 gram
Monounsaturated Fat6 grams
Trans Fat1 gram
Cholesterol66 milligrams
Sodium514 milligrams
Potassium453 milligrams
Fiber 4 grams
Sugar13 grams
Vitamin A16854 micrograms
Vitamin C3 milligrams
Calcium75 milligrams
Iron2 milligrams

How Will The Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie Look And Taste Like? 

Here, I feel even more so as it is baking a pie from scratch; you may wonder what your end product is supposed to look like. Don’t let the jitters get the best of you, as I will tell you exactly what you should expect out of this pie once it is done in terms of flavor, texture, and how it should look. 

Starting off with the way this pie is supposed to look, once you see it, you may even confuse it with a pumpkin pie as they look really similar! The color will be golden brown, which is perfect. The filling should not have any cracks in it ideally, as if it does, your pie is probably a little overbaked. 

Now coming to the flavor and texture. The texture of this pie is crispy and flaky at the base, coming from the pie crust. Then, the smooth and decadent filling takes over, which has a rich and nutty flavor, coming from the hero of this recipe, the brown butter. Paired with the added spices, this pie has a perfectly balanced flavor that is fit for fall and Thanksgiving. 

Recipe Card

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie 1

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet potato pie makes for a really decadent and rich dessert to serve on Thanksgiving. This pie is even more decadent when made with brown butter instead! This recipe for Brown butter sweet potato pie is really easy to follow and just plain indulgent!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Resting Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 416 kcal

Equipment

Measuring cups
Measuring Spoons
Bowl
Food Processor
Plastic Wrap
Pie Pan
Rolling Pin
Paring Knife
Parchment Paper
Dried Beans
Whisk
Fork
Silicone Spatula
Aluminum Foil
Baking Tray
Saucepan
Cooling Rack

Ingredients
  

For The Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoons Cold Water

For The Filling

  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 nos. Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves

Instructions
 

For The Pie Crust

  • In the food processor bowl, take the all purpose flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add cold cubes of unsalted butter to the food processor and pulverize till the texture of the flour resembles that of sand.
  • Once the flour reaches the desired texture, add in the cold water to the food processor. Mix just until everything is combined together, then take the dough out on a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough a couple of times, just until it is smooth and reaches a pliable consistency, then, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • After the dough has rested enough, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out until it reaches 13 inches in diameter.
  • Transfer the dough into the pie pan, making sure all of it is covered. Cut off the excess overhang from the sides and use the extra pieces to repair any tears.
  • Push the sides in with your finger, to create a crimping effect all around the lined pie.
  • Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, then, add in a piece of parchment paper to the lined dough and fill it halfway with dried beans.
  • Bake the pie crust on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, then take it out and let it cool completely.

For The Filling

  • Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes and place them on a baking tray that is lined with aluminum foil.
  • Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven for 1 hour, until they are completely soft when poked with a knife or a fork. Take them out and let them cool completely.
  • Add unsalted butter to the saucepan and let it melt over a medium flame. After a while, the milk solids will start crackling and separate at the base and the butter will turn chestnut brown.
  • Once the butter has browned, transfer it to a bowl from the saucepan and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • After the sweet potatoes have cooled down, take their peels off and discard them.
  • Scoop out the flesh in a large bowl and mash it up until smooth, with the help of a fork or a masher.
  • To that, add in the sugar, salt, spices, heavy cream, yogurt and flour and whisk until everything is smooth and well combined.
  • Add in the eggs and brown butter, a little at a time and whisk until everything is a smooth texture. Your filling is ready.

Assembling The Pie

  • Lastly, once the blind baking is done and the filling is ready, you can assemble the pie.
  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In the pie crust, add in the filling and place the pie pan on a baking tray.
  • Bake the pie for 50 minutes and once done, take it out of the oven and let it cool down on a wire rack completely, after which you can slice and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 514mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 16854IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword Brown Butter Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet potatoes, Thanksgiving
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do we need to chill the dough again before blindly baking it? 

Here, it is necessary to chill the dough for at least half an hour before blind baking it, the reason being that the more the dough is chilled, the less the chances of it shrinking while baking. 

Can self-raising flour be used in place of all-purpose flour in this recipe? 

No, self-raising flour cannot be used for this recipe as it has added baking powder to it, which is not needed in this pie crust recipe. 

Can the sweet potatoes be boiled instead of roasting them in the oven? 

No, do not boil the sweet potatoes as they will soak in water, and that will eventually make the filling very thin in consistency. However, if you are short on time, you can soften the sweet potatoes in a microwave for 15-20 minutes. 

Can pumpkin spice and allspice be added to the filling?

Yes, if you like the flavor of these two spices, you can go ahead and add half a teaspoon of each of these two spices. 

Can a ready-made pie crust be used in this recipe instead of making one from scratch? 

Yes, you can use a ready-made pie crust too, which needs to be rolled out and baked. But even this pie crust will need-blind baking, so make sure you do so by following the instructions given on the packet. 

Why is the sweet potato pie really soft and soggy?

There could be many reasons why this can happen. However, the primary reason would be that the pie crust was not blind-baked properly, the oven temperature was not optimum, or the filling was underbaked. 

Is there an easy way to know if the pie is done baking? 

Yes, if you have a probe thermometer with you, insert it in the center of the pie and check the temperature. If the internal temperature is 175 degrees Fahrenheit, your pie is perfectly baked. 

Conclusion

Flaky crust and a soft and decadent center, this pie is the perfect combination of textures and flavors. The brown butter incorporated into the filling creates a really nutty flavor, which, when combined with the added spices, creates a wonderful balance. All in all, this pie is the perfect warm and fuzzy ending you need for a meal, especially on days like Thanksgiving! 

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