Sweet potato pie and the tale of two mashers

This is a crime against nature without whipped cream

By Katherine

About a year ago, my parents were down for a visit and we were in a flea market when I eyed something I had to have — a Tupperware potato masher in a shade of green that was at the height of fashion between 1973 and 1979. I grabbed it. Our potato masher had rusted and we’d tossed it a few days before. I took about two steps before a frown crossed my mother’s face. She stared at the implement, then took it in both hands and pulled on it, hard. “Oh, Kathy, I don’t know….” I shrugged and told her it was probably older than I was and appeared to be in fine shape. We walked on down the aisle to find dad, who a moment later was pulling on the masher, frowning. They offered to take me to Bed, Bath and Beyond to no avail. I forked over the $1.95 plus tax and made mashed potatoes that night just to reassure them. About a week later, there was a package in the mail with a letter from my dad.

Here is a present for Greg in case the Tupperware breaks. It has a metal handle like his pans, just not the same shape.

Inside there was a shiny Farberware potato masher. It matches Greg’s pans perfectly.

They both work fine

Sweet potato pie

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and roast in the oven at 350 until tender, about an hour and 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then peel the potatoes, dumping the skins and putting the flesh in a large bowl. Use your good masher to mash the potatoes until smooth. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour mixture over potatoes and stir to incorporate. Whisk eggs and cream together and add all at once to the bowl with the potatoes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. The filling will be soupy, just like with pumpkin pie. Pour into the unbaked pie shell and place in center rack of oven. Bake until the filling is just set about 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Sweet potato pie and the tale of two mashers

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Something I’ve never tried. I probably would never make one myself but wouldn’t mind a sample bite or two. πŸ™‚

  2. ceciliag says:

    Your parents are so cute how they sent the OTHER potato masher to Greg!! Awesome! I was comforted to see that you have a wee dram of the old brandy in this pie! c

  3. Kristy says:

    LOL! Now that’s an awesome dad. πŸ™‚ Love this story! And I may have to try one of these pies someday. I’ve never had a sweet potato pie. Looks good!

  4. Good lord that looks good.

  5. Yuri says:

    Cute story and lovely pie!

  6. This is the first sweet potato pie I have ever seen that resembles a pumpkin pie — what’s the texture like? Does the cream lighten it? I don’t usually like the mealy, potato-y texture of sweet potato pie. I’m sure the brandy makes this one taste extra good.

    • Katherine says:

      It’s a little stringier than pumpkin, but mashes so nicely. It’s hard to describe the exact differences, but yest the brandy and all the butter make it sing.

  7. I love the green masher! That pie looks perfect! Nice job.

  8. nrhatch says:

    I have a metal masher like the one in the photo. Love it for potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Before that, I used a potato ricer that pre-dated my birth ~ like a huge garlic press. Always MASHED . . . never WHIPPED. πŸ˜€

    The pie looks grand!

  9. crustabakes says:

    Aaaw, your parents are so very sweet! And that pie looks so silky smooth!

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    Your parents are swell! I’ve been waiting for someone to share a sweet potato pie recipe. Glad you guys did and I can’t wait to give it a try. It’s been ages since I’ve tasted a good one.

  11. Your parents as so sweet and I think it’s touching that they even knew what design would match Greg’s pans… that’s a lot of attentiveness!
    p.s. and I’m with c on the wee dram of brandy… might a wee glassful go with this desert as well?? Or perhaps before making it… then I could imagine my pie crust was as lovely as yours:)

  12. Carolyn Chan says:

    Such a lovely story and a delicious sounding recipe.

  13. Nice story and a funky pair of mashers

  14. I just love how they said.. ‘Here’s a present for Greg’ lol. What about your present lol. Hey I remember those potato mashers. My mom had one before she threw it away. And I love your sweet potato pie recipe. Very close to my moms. I just love when you share southern recipes.. reminds me of home and of something I would post πŸ™‚

  15. Oh my goodness, I would never have thought of using the inside thingy (your “masher”) of my Tupperware pickle jar as a potato masher – I have always just thought it so cool to lift the handle up out of the jar to have the pickles come to the top without having to stick my hand in the jar. Wonder how yours got separated from the jar – so clever to use it as a masher. Did it work well?
    Your pie looks scrumptious.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  16. Great story and a great pie! Have never heard of a tupperware potato masher although from MandyΒ΄s message it looks like it was originally something else..how funny!

  17. Eva Taylor says:

    I do love your stories, Katherine. Personally, I’d take the shiny new silver one! But I love the recipe. Thanks.

  18. Sissi says:

    I would have never guessed the green thing is a potato masher! I have the metal one. The sweet potato pie looks gorgeous and actually it’s the first time I see a sweet potato pie. I think it tempts me more than pumpkin pies.

  19. Interesting. Does the Tupperware one give you a finer mash?

    • Katherine says:

      I like using it for hot things on the stove, like blueberry sauce. The silver one is better for potatoes and well most things goshdarnit!

  20. Sometimes “father knows best.” I know this Farberware one will be a treasure for a long time for the story that goes with it.

  21. rutheh says:

    Love the two mashers photo! Sweet parents. And that PIE??? Oh my.

  22. I love both mashers, too, and loved the story. Parents are just like that. We are always taking care of our children in our minds and advising them. Drives my daughters crazy! The pie looks so good. Wish I had some right now with my coffee.

  23. Looks so yummy! I do miss sweet potato pie…

  24. Stef says:

    We have the silver masher, and I must admit a fondness for it as compared to ol’ Plastic… πŸ˜‰

  25. Karen says:

    I love the pie story and at this time of the year you can never have too many tools in the kitchen.

  26. egg me on says:

    I like your retro potato masher! It’s also probably older than me, but as long as it works — who cares! Sweet pie, too!

  27. I’ve never had sweet potato and always wanted to try it. This looks so good!

  28. spicegirlfla says:

    I’d be fighting you for that green masher!! I have a soft spot for classic pieces and that one certainly looks in great shape to me!! And the pie, looks amazing..I’m getting hungry….

  29. Perhaps I should move my sweet potatoes from the vegetable category on Thanksgiving to dessert! This pie looks so good! Beautiful crust!

  30. peasepudding says:

    So which masher do you prefer?

  31. Courtney says:

    We happen to have the “pretty” masher, but I kinda love your green one. And I love the pie, too – though it does need some whipped cream.

  32. Holly says:

    A desert with sweet potatoes? Whatever next… Honestly is this some new fangled type of potato.

  33. niasunset says:

    Another new recipe for me. Thank you dear Katherine, seems so beautiful, I really want to taste this. Have a nice and enjoyable weekend for you both, with my love, nia

  34. I LOVE the green masher. A real kitchen gem πŸ™‚

  35. Joanne says:

    I love sweet potato pie! And your little stories. The photo is beautiful too…your photos have definitely been getting better and better!

  36. How weird….my mother has a green “masher” like that except it fits into a tall tupperware for pickles. You put it in the tupperware, then fill will pickles. When you want a pickle you raise up the handle and the pickle juice drains down through the holes and you grab a pickle. I wonder if they are the same thing and are interchangeable? Oh, and your sweet potato pie looks DE-Lish!

  37. zestybeandog says:

    LOVE THIS! I must try it, ASAP πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great idea! πŸ™‚

  38. Love the story about old & new mashers πŸ™‚ This looks yummy.

  39. eva626 says:

    so did you add whipped cream to it?

  40. This sounds amazing Katherine! I could just about reach through the computer and take a bite it looks so good. Your dad sending that masher and trying to match it to Greg’s pots and pans was priceless. : )

  41. I have had them before – but have never made them before. This looks delicious πŸ™‚

  42. Charles says:

    Wow, I’m surprised the green one mashes – really. The holes seem so fine on it – I guess maybe it wouldn’t be so effective on carrots perhaps?

    Great looking pie – reminds me in colour and look of an *infinitely* healthier version of an English “treacle tart”. I don’t cook much with sweet potato, but I bet it makes a great pie here.

    • Katherine says:

      I’ve never mashed carrots, but have mashed berries with it. Fine alright, alright the silver one’s better. The green one’s a pickle lifter and one should never argue with her parents no matter how old she is!

  43. Please save me a slice of pie and a big dollop of whipped topping please. Happy Turkey Day Greg!

  44. Now that is a fine looking pie.
    Give me retro green anyday, but that was very kind of your parents to be matching mashers with pots.

    • Katherine says:

      I think it’s a testament to Tupperware’s durability that I can use a pickle strainer as a potato masher. Or maybe it’s a sign of my prowess in the kitchen?

  45. rsmacaalay says:

    Where I came from and where I am now there are a lot of sweet potatoes, now I am wondering why didnt I made something so delicious like this before

  46. I loved reading your story! Glad my parents are not the only ones who insist they know better sometimes but they do it in the sweetest ways

  47. Katherine, I think I would have had the same reaction as your parents. πŸ˜‰

    Great looking pie!

  48. tandre07 says:

    Great stuff. Been too long since I’ve read your blog!

  49. Misk Cooks says:

    Lovely story revolving round a potato masher. Who’d have guessed! πŸ˜€ I’m hoping for a potato ricer for Christmas. Fingers crossed that Santa can read my wish list.

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  53. Carol says:

    I hate to tell you this, but that little green potato masher isn’t a potato masher at all. I have had it since the 1970’s and it is the inside strainer of a pickle holder. It goes inside the container and then you fill it with your pickles, juice, seeds and all. When you want a pickle, you lift the strainer up and all the juice drains and you can lift out your pickle. I love it and have used it for over 30 years. Its a great idea to mash potatoes with, I might have to try it.

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