There’s a part of me that says Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving unless we’re serving pumpkin pie for dessert. You may feel the same. A few years ago, I started incorporating other desserts into our menu; for both my creative pleasure and because I got the sense that not everyone is as outrageously nuts over pumpkin pie as I am. To those people: LIKE WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST THE NEXT DAY?
Brain does not compute.
Another lesson I learned as the designated Thanksgiving dessert chef was to make sure I’m not baking anything overly sweet and/or heavy. I remember bringing this ridic s’mores pie a few years ago which turned out to be WAY too rich to eat after a turkey binge. It’s not that it wasn’t marvelous, but I may have gone a little overboard by using a more than a few chocolate bars, heavy cream and marshmallow meringue. Heh.
In fact, I remember studying my family’s faces, curious as to what their reactions would be to this chocolate dream pie. The first bite made it appear that they were delightfully pleased; yet once they got past the second bite, their faces turned to discomfort.
Turns out it was so filling they felt like their pants might burst open. Oops. They probably would have had room if they would have worn yoga pants.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been testing out pie recipes for Turkey day, and this sweet potato pie has been one of my favs. It’s surprisingly similar to pumpkin so I may even replace my favorite dessert for this uber creamy, sweet and generously spiced gem.
Better yet, this sweet potato pie is lightened up thanks to almond milk and by using less sugar. I baked it in a simple pecan pie crust made with a tiny bit of brown sugar, butter and salt. If you’d like, you could bake the pie without the crust too for an even lighter option – up to you! I have left options in the notes below the recipe that should appeal to all of your dietary needs. Before I let you go, I’d like to show you how to make the sweet potato pie crust.
Add the pecans, salt and brown sugar in the food processor and process until the mixture begins to resemble sand. Add in melted butter and pulse again for just a few seconds.
The mixture will end up looking something like this. Use your hands to press it down and to the sides. If you want a thicker crust, you could add more pecans. Sometimes I love adding a few gingersnap cookies and some flour. You can find the recipe to my pecan gingersnap cookie crust here.
Next, you’ll bake the crust for around 10 minutes. How easy is that?
Mmmm the creamy filling will go in then you’ll pop this bad boy back in the oven.
…AND THEN YOU GET THIS. I suggest serving this pie with a little coconut whipped cream!
Tell me: What’s your favorite kind of pie?
More Thanksgiving dessert recipes you’ll love:
Lightened up Sweet Potato Pie with Sweet and Salty Pecan Crust (gluten free, low carb!)
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
To roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork a few times, then place on baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until knife tender. Turn down oven to 350 degrees F and set sweet potatoes aside to cool off.
To make the crust: Place pecans, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts begin to become very crumbly and look like wet sand; this should take less than 1 min. Next add the melted butter and process again. I like to taste the crust at this point to see if I may need to add more salt.
Dump the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and press crust to the edges evenly with your fingertips. Bake for 10-12 minutes, being careful not to overbake. I usually take mine out at 10 minutes.
To make the filling: While the crust is baking, you can start making the filling. Scoop filling out of cooled roasted sweet potatoes and peel away skin. Place in a food processor and process until somewhat smooth and fibers are removed.
Next, add in all of the ingredients and spices except the egg and egg whites; process again until smooth and creamy.
Add in egg and egg whites and process once more until smooth.
Pour filling into prepared pie crust, smoothing over top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow pie to cool to room temperature to help set the pie. Serve with fresh real whipped cream, coconut whipped cream and/or your favorite ice cream. I love serving my pie warm so the ice cream melts on top. Serves 9.
This pie is naturally gluten free thanks to the pecan crust. If you prefer to omit the crust, each slice is only 125 calories (based on 9 slices). You can simply bake the filling without the crust, except I recommend checking if it's done after 30 minutes of baking.
TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: use a vegan buttery stick in place of the real butter.
TO MAKE PALEO: Use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.