Patti LaBelle's’s Sweet Potato Pie sold exclusively at Walmart are selling like hotcakes. In fact, they’re selling so well there’s a shortage. It was this YouTube video that helped start the frenzy.
The video has been viewed more than three million dollars since James Wright shared his review of Patti’s pies. I was one of the people who wondered, “How good are they?”
You can’t find them in stores, but LaBelle has a sweet potato pie recipe from her 1999 cookbook. Here’s the recipe.
The pie crust dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Any leftover pureed sweet potatoes can be frozen for up to 6 months. The pie can be baked and refrigerated a day in advance.
For the crust
• 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1/3 cup ice water
• 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
For the filling
• 3 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds), scrubbed
• 7 tablespoons (most of 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup half-and-half
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• For the crust: Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the shortening. Use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-size bits.
• Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you may need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.
• Lightly flour a work surface. Place the chilled dough on it; roll out to a round that’s 13 inches across. Fold the dough in half.
• Transfer to the pie plate; gently unfold the dough to fit into it. Trim the dough as needed to leave a 1-inch overhang. (Bake or reserve the scraps for another use.)
• Fold the dough under itself so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you start the filling (and up to 1 hour).
• For the filling: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium; cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 to 45
• Drain the sweet potatoes, letting them fall into a colander. Run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Discard the skins; transfer the cooked sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Use a hand-held electric mixer to blend on medium speed
until creamy and smooth. You’ll need 3 cups for the filling; scoop out the remainder and reserve for another use.
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Uncover the pie shell; brush the interior with the melted butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the bottom of the pie shell. Par-bake until the crust is set and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. (If the pie shell puffs, do not
prick it.) Let cool.
• Meanwhile, add the melted butter and brown sugar, the granulated sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon and nutmeg to the pureed sweet potatoes. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
• Pour into the par-baked pie shell, smoothing the surface. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake (middle rack) until a knife inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean yet the filling still jiggles a bit, about 1
to 1 1/2 hours.
• Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cover loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve.