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Streusel-Topped Sweet Potato Pie combines a creamy sweet potato custard filling with an amazing layer of crunchy brown sugar streusel. Move over, pumpkin pie, there’s a new dessert in town.

Streusel-Topped Sweet Potato Pie
This past Sunday, my hometown was hit by a tornado that completely devastated the area.

My best friend and her husband live just a block away from homes that were destroyed.

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Source

A neighboring town of about 15,000 people, just 9 miles from my parents’ house, had literally hundreds of homes destroyed and businesses damaged. The number of families without water, heat, power, or even a roof over their heads on Sunday night was mind-boggling. Currently, the town is closed off to help prevent more accidents.**

And yet, God is good.

All of our friends and family members are safe. Most of the damage occurred during the morning, while a lot of families were safely in church and not at home. Those whose homes were not damaged or destroyed are rallying to help provide food, water, and shelter for those who were left without.

While the damage is devastating in so many ways, there is no doubt that it could have been much, much worse.

We have so much to be thankful for, friends – not just during this season of thanks and giving, but each and every day. Let us not forgot our multitude of blessings, and let us find ways to freely give to those who are living with less.

When I was little (too young to remember this clearly), my family went through what my mother likes to call our “lean years”. A regular dinner for us during this time was “hamburger surprise”: essentially homemade Hamburger Helper, with the “surprise” being whether we could afford hamburger that week or not.

In the midst of this hard time, a friend from church, who happened to be a farmer, drove up to our house one day with his truck packed full of sweet corn. Turns out, he had planted too much and was having trouble getting rid of the extra. He couldn’t explain why, but he just felt like something was telling him to bring it to us, though my parents had never mentioned to anyone that we were having trouble making ends meet; that sweet corn kept us from going to bed hungry many nights that winter, and my mother  talks about what a blessing it was to this day.

You never know when a seemingly small act to you is making a tremendous difference in the life of someone else.

Slice of sweet potato pie
sweet potato pie

Maybe you make a donation to your local Red Cross chapter. Maybe you “adopt a family” and provide them with gifts this holiday season. Maybe you invite a neighbor to Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you make this pie and take it to a friend that you know is having a hard time. (Or perhaps you make them this pie and a Pecan Raisin Pie – aren’t two pies always better than one?)

Because honestly, when isn’t Streusel-Topped Sweet Potato Pie at least part of the answer?

Overhead sweet potato pie

Filling adapted from Joy the Baker.

Streusel-Topped Sweet Potato Pie
 
Yield: 1 9-inch or 10-inch pie
Ingredients
For the streusel:
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the pie:
  • 1 unbaked 9- or 10-inch pie crust
  • 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1¼ cups evaporated milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Instructions
Make the streusel:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until butter is in very small pieces and the mixture is crumbly. Place in the refrigerator until needed.
Make the pie:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven while it preheats.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes, both sugars, all of the spices, salt, butter, and ¾ cup of the evaporated milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking until butter and sugar is melted and the mixture is well blended, smooth, and starts to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat together the egg yolks with the remaining evaporated milk and vanilla. Very slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot sweet potato mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the now-warmed egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the sweet potato mixture, whisking thoroughly.
  4. Pour pie filling into the unbaked pie crust. (If you are using a 9-inch crust, you will have filling left over.) Top with half of the streusel mixture. Place on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 450. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325 and bake for 50 minutes more. When there is 30 minutes left, add the remaining streusel to the top of the pie and finish baking until the edges and center are raised and puffed and the center only shakes slightly.
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Notes
Check edges of pie after about 20 minutes. If they are browning too quickly, cover the edges with foil for the remaining baking time.

**More photos of the Washington, IL, destruction can be viewed HERE. Anyone interested in helping the relief efforts can donate through the American Red Cross Central IL chapter (mark donations for “Central Illinois Tornado Response”) or the Salvation Army Heartland Division (mark these “November Tornado Relief”). Every little bit can help get families back on their feet this holiday season.

30 Comments

  1. Your post brought me to tears. I’m sorry to hear about all the damage that has been done…it’s amazing how we can go from being these empowered individuals to realizing mother nature is bigger than us…there are things over which we have no control. My heart and warm wishes go out to everyone effected by the Tornado, and thank you for bringing awareness to the matter.

    My family went through something similar to yours when I was a kid. Our vegetables were canned green beans and corn, and we ate fish sticks alllll the time. Hamburger helper and Tuna helper were definitely staples. I forget about these times and am bad about not being thankful that times have improved, my family is healthy and safe. You always open my eyes, my dear…not only are you an amazing cook, but your wisdom and gratitude in life astounds me. I want to squeeze you!

  2. Ugh, I’m so so sorry that your hometown was in the line of those nasty storms this weekend. Prayers and hugs going out to your friends and family.

    And this post — just so good. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful (and for some yummy pictures of yummy pie) :).

  3. You and yours are in my thoughts, Stephie. And while I am so happy to hear that they got through unscathed, I know that others were less fortunate, which is why I so appreciate your reminder to, now and throughout the holiday season, remain thankful and thoughtful of those who are struggling.

    In other news, your pie looks amazing; I love outside-of-the-box pie recipes and yours is a true winner!

  4. I am so happy your friends and family are all safe! It is times like these that you really see the good in people. What horrible devastation but, I know they will rebuild as people always do. You are so right that in times like this even the smallest gestures mean a lot.

  5. I’m so so sorry to hear about this. All those years living in MN, I hated hearing the tornado warnings go off. Here in CA, it’s earthquakes, without any warning. I’ve been through a few of those… mother nature can be so unkind :/ So yes, we should always have perspective, be grateful for what we have, and eat pie. Always eat pie.

    1. My parents’ house is actually RIGHT NEXT to one of the tornado sirens. Hearing that thing go off is the worst sound ever. The beagles always hate it, too.

  6. Stephie, I am so happy to hear that your friends and family are safe, yet so saddened by the disaster. Thank you for the important reminder to give back, to count our blessings, and to hold onto what matters. I also was really touched by the personal story you shared about your past. You are so wonderful!
    And yes, this pie is DEFINITELY part of the answer.

  7. Thoughts and prayers are with all your friends and family! I am so glad to hear they are all safe and that help is being provided. God is good always. And this pie, definitely part of the answer. Big (((hugs)))

  8. You know that pie plate? Yeah. Saw it in an antique store on Wednesday. Well, not this exact one, but the first cousin. Plus, I saw my favorite brown and blue bowls that I use (almost bought more of those). Yeah. I limped a bit more on the way out, feeling my age. Decided that meant we had been married a long time. 🙂

      1. How do you know that I didn’t? Well, I didn’t on the pie plate, because I was like, how many pie plates do you need and I have one. Didn’t think that you would want one. The pyrex stuff was kind of pricey, but still tempting. It was at the EP antique mall, so not hard to get to. 🙂 We’ll talk.

  9. Aw Stephie, I am so sorry to hear about the tornado! I feel so far away here in Australia… we’ve mostly been hearing about the devastation in the Philippines (and our prime minister being hated in Indonesia due to a phone tapping scandal) over the past few days, I wasn’t even aware of what happened where you are! Glad that most people were safe, despite the damage. Situations like this definitely remind us that we’re vulnuerable as humans but like you, I also believe that God is in control during these troubled times. Take care and I’ll be wishing and praying for a swift repair of the damage and calm weather for the rest of the winter months. Oh, and your pie looks incredible. Yum! Hugs xxx

  10. I made this for my family for christmas this is now the only way I will ever make it. Thanks so much for sharing. I did leave out the butter but its only because I changed my eating habits. I didn’t miss the butter like I thought I would. So yummy.

    1. I’m so glad! That is the nice thing about sweet potatoes: they are great with the extra fat, but their texture helps to make it optional! Thank you for your comment!

  11. My family was supposed to come for our Sunday supper. So I decided to try your version of Sweet Potato Pie. Since I saw it (another version) on a Food TV show it was always on my mind… the colour…the texture and the “wow”, “tout à fait succulent” I could hear when they tasted it. The chef who presented it is a restaurant owner here in Montreal. As sweet potatoes is rather new in our food habits I was glad and proud to present it to my family. Unfortunately we received quite a lot of snow yesterday (yes I know.. March 30!) and we decided to postpone our reunion. I couldn’t wait longer to taste this pie that was waiting there, waving me every minute!! Dear Stephie….it’s ….. sorry I have to go to work… will continue later 😉

    1. Yay, get on the sweet potato train with me! And I suspect you didn’t reeeally have to go to work…you probably just dashed off to eat another piece of pie. 😉

      1. Well,I had to go to work but… I also ate another piece… can you imagine: a sweet potatoe pie for breakfast… please keep this secret for you! And to finish my previous sentence, it’s decadent!!! My gosh this pie will go on –Not to have in my house when I feel lonely!— list: to hard to resist. By the way, I cooked the sweet potatoes in my oven as stated in your instructions. But for the rest, I used my Thermomix. It worked great as it cooks and blends (no I’m not a sales rep – only a very satisfied customer). If they approach you for a review don’t hesitate! Did I thank you for this recipe?

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