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A pie for the ages: bourbon sweet potato pumpkin pie!

November 26, 2013

I’m publishing this pie today, because I wanted to give you time to make it for Thanksgiving. I purposely didn’t post it too early, and I specifically waited until this date. I wanted to give you enough time to really absorb what you’re seeing. Then get up, go out to the store & get the ingredients you need to make this, then come home & plan to do so on/by Thursday. I felt it had to be done this way. So I’m giving you a few days, and I expect you all to make it. You must. Seriously.

It’s THAT good.

Don’t believe me?

Bourbon sweet potato pumpkin pie, anyone?

It’s the pie to end all pies.

It’s a pie for the ages!

Bourbon. Sweet potato. Pumpkin. With toasted meringue. Toasted bourbon meringue, that is.

Sweet potato pumpkin pie with bourbon! And more bourbon in the meringue.

Say word.

A motherflippin’ bourbon sweet potato pumpkin pie with toasted bourbon meringue! 

When I told Jay of my plans to make it, his jaw dropped open. And he doesn’t even really like pumpkin anything! I knew I was on to something. Although, in hindsight, it might have just been the mention of bourbon. Either way, I combined a few different recipes for a few different pies & came up with this: the holy grail of autumn piedom.

The holy grail of fall pies: bourbon sweet potato pumpkin with a toasted bourbon meringue.

I’m usually not a pie-maker. Yes, I make them & yes, they turn out well. Some of them have even turned out as close to perfect as possible. But not only do I prefer cake (making & eating), I find that my pies aren’t quite up to my aesthetic standards. Cakes I can do with my eyes closed. Cupcakes I can do with one hand tied behind my back. Pies… they require more effort. More preparation. Making the crust, rolling the crust, making sure the filling sets up properly, etc.

However once in a while they’re totally worth it. Like now.



  • 1 prepared 10″ pie crust (frozen/refrigerated store-bought crust is okay to use, but I’ll give you a recipe for one below) in a deep dish pie plate
  • 2 cups gently mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 3 fresh)*
  • 1 can (15-oz) solid pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!) or equivalent fresh pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons good quality, tasty bourbon**
  • 1 can (14-oz) condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or equivalent in separate spices)
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon good quality bourbon (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or other flavoring of your choice)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare pie crust; press it into 10″ deep-dish pie plate. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet, set aside.
  2. Combine pie filling ingredients with a wooden spoon. Once incorporated, beat them in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low until completely smooth & combined, then increase speed for 1 minute. Gently mash with wooden spoon or fork to make sure everything is mixed.
  3. Pour mixture into pie shell; place on cookie sheet to support weight of pie. Bake about 55 minutes or until puffed and knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean. Let cool for 1-2 hours before cutting!
  4. Right before serving, if desired, make meringue: Beat egg whites until frothy; gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Add bourbon, vanilla extract or other flavoring. Spoon onto pie. Toast top with a torch or place under the broiler for a few minutes. Serve & enjoy!
*Canned is fine, too, you don’t have to cook them just mash them
**I used W. L. Weller & it was magnificent!

 Sweet potato pumpkin pie with W. L. Weller bourbon.

PIE CRUST (from Martha Stewart)



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup ice water


  1. Hand Method: In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don’t overhandle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.
  3. Food Processor Method: Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.
  4. If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.
  5. Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
  6. Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry — it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1/8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Do not trim the pastry yet.
  7. Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in the same manner as for the bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork, or use this website to do a fancy decorative crust.

I clearly do the worst crust-crimping jobs EVER. But who cares. When it’s in your mouth, you won’t notice!

The most amazing bourbon sweet potato pumpkin pie!

I let my meringue get extra toasty on top, but how dark it gets is up to you. You don’t even have to toast it at all, but really, why wouldn’t you? Meringue, like marshmallow, is always better toasted! I guess you could also cheat by using Fluff instead of meringue, but it’d be messier. A lot messier. However if you’re mixer-less or anti-meringue, another option would be to put mini-marshmallows on top before baking/halfway through baking. If you choose to make the meringue- do so right before serving. Otherwise it will weep & get mushy. You don’t want mushy, weepy meringue.

However, you could also just serve it with whipped cream. Maybe even bourbon whipped cream? (Psst… to make the filling alcohol-free/kid-friendly, omit the bourbon & add a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

Other bourbons/whiskeys besides W. L. Weller that would be delicious in this: Cabin Fever & No. 14 Vermont Bourbon (both would add a super maple flavor too), as well as Basil Hayden’s. However if push comes to shove, I’m sure pretty much any GOOD bourbon/whiskey would work. Just make sure it’s a tasty one, not a gasoline-like one. Sweeter, more vanilla-y  bourbons & whiskeys are a better bet.

The best pie you'll make this Thanksgiving: bourbon sweet potato pumpkin. With toasted BOURBON meringue!

Basically, it’s a meeting of the two best fall pies mashed together with alcohol & meringue. What could be better?

Sources & credits: Longaberger black 11″ pie plate, Spode “Cowslip” plates; vintage.
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  1. Hey, M, this looks good! I’ve never heard of putting pumpkin and sweet potato together. Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe!

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