Kim Dejan, Owner of KD's NOLA Treats

From Pie Fiasco to Perfection: My Sweet Potato Pie Journey

In the early days of my culinary adventures, long before I founded my dessert company, I decided to take on the challenge of impressing my family with a homemade dessert. Little did I know that this seemingly simple endeavor would turn into a memorable sweet potato pie fiasco, teaching me a valuable lesson in the art of baking.

Eager to showcase my budding baking skills, I scoured the internet for what seemed like a foolproof sweet potato pie recipe. Armed with a list of ingredients and a zest for success, I dove into the baking process headfirst. However, in my excitement, I made a critical error—I failed to print the instructions, only noting down the ingredients.

Unfazed, I combined all the components in a bowl, fired up my mixer, and eagerly poured the mixture into a pie shell. The result? A pie with a less-than-smooth texture that left much to be desired. Confused and disappointed, I turned to my culinary mentor—my mom—for guidance.

My mom, the seasoned cook who had imparted countless culinary lessons to me, took one look at my misshapen creation and knew exactly what had gone wrong. With a knowing smile, she gently explained, “You never do that; you always start by mixing your butter and sugar first to cream.”

As she continued to share her wisdom, it dawned on me that this principle extended beyond sweet potato pies. It was a fundamental rule in baking, applicable to cakes, cookies, and other delectable treats. She emphasized the importance of adding eggs and other ingredients one at a time, pausing to scrape the bowl meticulously to ensure even mixing.

While my initial embarrassment at the failed sweet potato pie attempt lingered, my family found humor in the situation. As we sat around the table, sharing stories and enjoying our less-than-perfect dessert, laughter echoed through the room. The shared experience brought us closer together, turning what could have been a culinary disaster into a cherished family memory.

Determined to redeem myself, I took my mom’s advice to heart and embarked on a mission to perfect the sweet potato pie recipe. Armed with a newfound understanding of the importance of creaming butter and sugar, as well as the delicate dance of adding ingredients gradually, I honed my skills.

My sweet potato pie journey, though marked by a comical misstep, ultimately became a tale of resilience, redemption, and the enduring power of laughter in the kitchen. As I share my perfected recipe with you, remember that every mishap is an opportunity to learn and grow. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat that oven, and embark on your own delicious journey—one sweet potato pie at a time.


1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup evaporated milk

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin puree if you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 unbaked frozen pastry shell (9 inch)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs; mix well.  Scrape the bowl before adding next ingredients.
  4. Add milk, sweet potatoes (or pumpkin puree), vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt.  Mix well, stop to scrape the bowl and mix more.  Pour into a pie shell.
  5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to 350 F and bake 35-40 minutes longer.  Insert a toothpick into the center to make sure it comes out clean.
  7. Cool and store in the refrigerator.  (Pie can even be frozen for later indulgence.)
  8. Top with whipped cream or praline crumbles for even more joy!

TIP:  A 9 inch pie serves approximately 6-8 slices.  To make mini pies instead, this filling should make approximately 17 mini pies.

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