Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie

Desserts / Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009


Have you noticed that the Lee Brothers are popping up everywhere this week? They were on the “Today” show this morning making  Pimento-Cheese Potato Gratin. Their “Thanksgiving in Charleston” menu is featured on the cover of this month’s “Country Living”magazine. Tomorrow night, they’ll be appearing on “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay” for a Country Captain challenge.

All this media whoring can only mean one thing: the Lee Brothers’ new cookbook is out today!

I haven’t stopped trying things from their first book, so I can’t wait to get my hands on  “The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern” and check out the new batch of recipes. They have a knack for taking traditional Southern foods and using them in unconventional ways, as well as using surprising ingredients in traditional Southern dishes.

And they make a mean cheese straw.

Last night, I made the Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie from their Charleston Thanksgiving menu. Sweet potato pie can be heavy and cloying, but in this version, you whip the sweet potato puree with buttermilk and lemon juice, creating a filling that’s light and more tangy than sweet. Almost like cheesecake. With a big dollop of whipped cream, this pie was definitely a winner.

Now, let’s see how they fare against Bobby Flay.


Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie

Adapted from Matt and Ted Lee’s “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook”

For 6 people

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, prebaked
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes), peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Garnish: whipped cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 inches water into a 3-quart stockpot with a strainer basket, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes, place in a large bowl, and let cool to room temperature. Mash them. Place 1 1/4 cups of the sweet potato puree into a large bowl; discard any excess. Add the butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks. Add the sugar, and beat until they’re lemon-yellow, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg mixture to the sweet potato mixture, and stir until the eggs are incorporated and the filling is a consistent bright orange color. Add the flour gradually, stirring after each addition. Add the buttermilk, and stir to incorporate.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes. With a wooden spoon or spatula, fold the egg whites into the sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust, and bake on the middle rack until the center is firm and set, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the pie from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature (or cover with plastic wrap, chill in the refrigerator and serve cold), with a dollop of whipped cream.

14 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie

  1. I Love anything with sweet potato (pie, cake, cookies). This version sounds light and appetizing so I'll have too try. I will also have to pick up the new cookbook too! I saw them on the Today show and that pimento cheese gratin looked amazing

  2. Looks absolutely delicious and so pretty in color. You know, I would never have known who the Lee Brothers were if it weren't for you cooking out of their books. I heard of them a couple of times lately and thought, "I think those are Ezra's buddies!" Good to know they are receiving the recognition they deserve as the recipes you have referenced all look great. Now go make the Molasses Cookies. Really, they are that good.

  3. Sweet potato pie is never a bad thing! We have a lot of Southern roots that call for a heavy, sweet, dense, rich filling. No complaints of course, but this tangy, light version is also intriguing. Must be the buttermilk. Yum.

  4. Hey, don't take this the wrong way, okay?! I love you…sweet potato pie is handsdown my favorite pie. I've been leering of trying to make my own and hadn't seen a recipe (or photos) on a blog of one before now. Thanks!

  5. The brothers will be here next week at Lemuria signing books.
    Want me to get one signed for you . . . I'll mail it next day.

  6. […] The Lee Bros.’ Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake […]

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