Wow your friends and family with a vibrant purple sweet potato pie. A different flavor than it’s orange counterpart but just as delicious. Gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly recipe.
I’ve been dying to bring you a another purple sweet potato recipe and I finally doing it… IN PIE FORM.
Just in time for the holiday season and baking festivities, ya know what I mean?
But first things first…
What are Purple Sweet Potatoes?
If you’re not familiar with purple sweet potatoes you’re in for a real treat. They are a variety of sweet potato and have a slighlty different taste than an orange sweet potato – I find that they’re not as sweet and drier in texture, but not in a bad way… Just different.
BONUS: the vibrant purple flesh is filled with antioxidants thanks to its rich, deep color. So not only are they fun to eat (who doesn’t want to eat purple things?) they’re pretty awesome for us too.
There are also a variety of purple sweet potatoes – Freida’s produce breaks it here, but in short there are
- Okinawan purple sweet potatoes – also known as Hawaiian sweet potatoes.
- Ubes – technically a purple yam.
- Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes – the one you’ll most likely find in grocery stores in the US, grown in California.
I typically pick mine up at Whole Foods but I’ve randomly seen them at Fresh Thyme and Meijer every so often. Just keep your eyes peeled wherever you shop for groceries.
You can use purple sweet potatoes in place of orange sweet potatoes in various recipes, but I’d try eating them baked or boiled and mashed first before substituting them in recipes that call for orange sweet potatoes– just so you can get a feel for their unique taste and different texture.
And then be sure to make THIS PIE:
Purple Sweet Potato Pie
If you’re looking to wow family and friends with a fun, vibrant baked good I highly suggest getting this purple sweet potato pie on the menu.
Truth be told I actually changed my crust for this recipe last minute. I had a traditional flour crust but didn’t love the way the flavors came together with the sweet potato pie filling, so I opted for a spiced cookie crust instead.
Which means this pie just got a WHOLE lot easier – if you’ve baked a flour/butter/shortening crust before, you know what I mean.
What you need
- purple sweet potatoes
- canned coconut milk
- maple syrup
- tapioca flour or cornstarch
- spiced crunchy cookies, such as these or gingersnaps
I’ve been doing a lot of pie research lately and driving myself crazy with various pie lessons.
What I’ve learned with sweet potato pie is when it comes to prepping the sweet potatoes, traditionally speaking it is best to bake them before combining with the other filling ingredients. There are pros and cons to this…
- PROS: Less “hands on” time. Doesn’t add too much moisture.
- CONS: Adds to total time because baking sweet potatoes takes longer than boiling.
HOWEVER, I’m going against the majority of sweet potato pie connoisseurs and I went with the boiling method. Mainly because purple sweet potatoes are on the drier side, so I didn’t think giving them a little extra moisture here was going to hurt anything.
Also note you don’t have to peel the potatoes before boiling them. Just slice them into about 2″ rounds and boil in a large pot of water. Then drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water and carefully rub the skins off. I do this for my sweet potato casserole.
How to prepare the purple sweet potato pie filling
Once the purple sweet potatoes have been boiled, skins removed and drained it is time to make the filling.
- All of the ingredients for the filling goes in a blender or food processor to mix together – EASY.
- Also note this is a dairy-free, vegan-friendly/egg-free recipe. The canned coconut milk is helpful to provide a rich, silky texture since we’re not using eggs here.
Make the cookie crust
Simply process crunchy cookies (old-fashioned gingersnaps, gluten-free ones or grain-free crunchy cookies) until you get about 1 cup of fine crumbs. Mix with melted butter (vegan butter or ghee both work) and press into pie plate and pre-bake for 10 minutes.
Time to bake the sweet potato pie
After the crust cools, it’s time to add the filling and bake the pie.
The final step is making sure everything is cooled and chilled before cutting. For best results, this pie should be chilled for at least 2 hours, or make it a day ahead – this also helps the flavors set in.
This Purple Sweet Potato Pie is actually a pretty healthy dessert when all is said and done! And it can be made to serve a variety of dietary needs 🙂
Let me know if you try this recipe – I love hearing from you! Comment below and tag my on Instagram.
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
- 1lb purple sweet potatoes, cut into 2″ rounds (you can leave skin on)
- 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar (see notes)
- 2 TBSP tapioca flour or cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Make the cookie crust: Preheat oven to 350º and grease 9″ pie plate (not deep dish one, or use springform pan). In a food processor using S-blade, process cookies into very fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into bowl with melted butter; stir until well combined and press into bottom and sides of pie plate –pressing the crust in flat with the back of a measuring spoon helps. Bake for 10 minutes – be sure not to over-bake. Remove from oven and allow to crust to cool.
- While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling: Raise oven temperature to 400ºF. Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil; add chopped sweet potatoes and reduce heat to medium; boil for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with fork. Drain and rinse potatoes in cold water; remove the skins by gently peeling with fingertips. Place peeled sweet potatoes in blender or food processor with canned coconut milk, maple syrup, sugar (if using) tapioca flour, vanilla and spices; blend until smooth.
- Pour the filling into cooled pie crust and smooth top; bake for 15 minutes at 400ºF, then drop the oven temperature down to 350º and continue baking for another 30 minutes, until middle has set. Carefully remove from oven and allow pie to cool completely at room temperature; then chill in fridge for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
- Enjoy with your favorite whipped topping!
GRAIN-FREE CRUST OPTION: Use grain-free cookies such as Simple Mill snickerdoodle or pecan crunchy cookies.
I have not tried this with another milk, canned coconut milk is the best option here.
If looking to cut back on sugar, you can omit brown sugar. I preferred the version with brown sugar compared to the one I tested without.
Prep time includes chilling.