Sweet Potato Pie Pots De Creme

Pie is a beautiful thing. I've mentioned this before, but it really can't be overstated. Flaky and buttery, all that gorgeous crust becomes the perfect delivery vehicle for whatever flavor you'd like. It's a traditional highlight of Thanksgiving dinner for an excellent reason.

Because pie is practically perfect.

As the holiday approaches this year, I began wondering what I might be able to whip up that went beyond the classic. Because pumpkin pie is lovely, but really, really overdone. If you'd like to cross over into a culinary adventure, follow me. Cause we've got some exploring to do.


Pots de Creme. Petite little cups that are actually a delicate custard, featuring whatever profile you'd like. Traditionally, they're chocolate but I've seen them in  all varieties from salted caramel to pumpkin. And that's when it hit me. Sweet Potato Pie.

Sweet potatoes are a traditional side dish for Thanksgiving, but this recipe brings them to the table where they belong. As dessert. Unlike pumpkin, sweet potatoes are a naturally sweet squash that provides a great contrast with a salty crust in this pots de creme version of pie. It begins as a simple sweet potato custard, creamy and with a hint of spice. Then we top it with marshmallow cream and a generous portion of toasted bacon pecan pie crust crumble. Yeah.

Every spoonful is like a sweet potato pie explosion in your mouth. If there is happiness in this world, it probably tastes like this.


A word about the crumble before we begin. I made mine by simply toasting some pecans, including a handful or two of cooked, homemade pie crust, and some bacon crumbles. I ran it in the food processor briefly and behold.

A pie garnish that taste a bit like revolution. It should go on EVERYTHING.

The custard gets simmered briefly on the stove. Look at all that creamy, swirly richness. Yum.

Next comes the tricky part of custard, which is not to cook the eggs into some sort of congealed mess. This involves tempering and it's just what it sounds like. Slowly adding warm mixture to bring the egg solution up to temperature. This takes patience and lots of whisking. But you got it, girl.

Next, you're going to bake these petite pots in a warm bath. Just nestle them in there and let them get comfortable, okay?

Once they're baked, these pots need some time to cool off and set in the fridge. Then top with marshmallow cream and bacon pecan pie crumble for a glorious alternative to pumpkin pie fit to grace any Thanksgiving table.

This Thanksgiving, as you gather family and friends around your table, I hope you'll take sometime to enjoy the sweet things about your life. And to feel grateful for each bite you get to share with the people you love.

Happy Thanksgiving from my table to yours!


Sweet Potato Pie Pots de Creme

For the Sweet Potato Custard (adapted from Steele House Kitchen):

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup whole milk

2/3 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup sweet potato puree

7 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Marshmallow Whipping Cream (Bright Eyed Baker):

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/3 cup water  Coupons

5 1/2 ounces granulated sugar, divided (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)

9 ounces light corn syrup (3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Bacon Pecan Pie Crumble:

2 Tbsp. bacon crumbles

2 handfuls baked pie crust

2 Tbsp. toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, syrup, and sweet potato – stir. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk to combine egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt. Very slowly, in a small stream, pour the sweet potato mixture into the egg mixture while whisking.

Place 6 4-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan or oven-safe dish with high sides. Pour the sweet potato filling into each ramekin leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top. Pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water reaches halfway up the ramekins (or mason jars). Place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the custard has set. It will still have a jiggle to it. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes then carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath. Place in the refrigerator and allow to finish setting for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the marshmallow cream: 

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the cream of tartar over. Beat, increasing the speed to medium-high, until the eggs starts to get light, airy, and frothy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in 7/8 ounce (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar. Continue to beat until firm (but not stiff) peaks form. Set aside.

Fit a small saucepan with a candy thermometer, or have a reliable digital thermometer ready nearby. Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in the saucepan and stir together. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then, using a heat-safe spatula, stir very frequently as you cook the syrup mixture to 240°F, maintaining a consistent boil. Once at 240°F, remove from the heat immediately.

Start the mixer on second speed and slowly pour the syrup in as it mixes until all of the syrup has been added. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl if needed, and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes. The mixture should have expanded and you should now have a white creme that's able to hold some shape. Add the vanilla, wipe down the bowl and beater, and beat for about 1 more minute, until the mixture is even in color again and has reached the desired consistency of marshmallow creme.

Pulse ingredients for crumble together in a food processor.

Once the pots are set, top with marshmallow cream, a generous amount of crumble, and then marvel at the sweetness you've brought to your table for Thanksgiving. Enjoy, friends!

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