Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Halloween Pie

Sweet Potato Halloween Pie
Dorcas Annette Walker

Every year around Halloween my mind goes back to where I first tasted a Sweet Potato Pie years ago when our family lived on a small isolated island for a couple of years off the coast of North Carolina. The only way to access Harkers Island was by a draw bridge. My father hoped that by living in a milder climate he would be able to get around easier with his arthritis caused by many internal bleeds that was slowly crippling him. Looking back I don’t know if our family or the island folk had the greatest culture shock from having a northern Pennsylvania Dutch family in their midst. Not only did the island folk have their own unique accent, but most of the islands folk were quite superstitious. They were quite astonished when my father parked our trailer in the back of the property beside a graveyard where we kids played. We discovered it was a perfect place to play hide and seek, especially after dark. Meanwhile no one would come near our trailer once the sun set. The large property we lived on not only contained a church where we attended school, but there was an old run down abandoned mansion that had weathered the fierce coastal storms throughout the years- sometimes being the only thing left standing- so was also considered an emergency building and island landmark. With its tall dark narrow halls and multiple rooms this large building that some declared haunted was the perfect place to explore. Even though with our strict upbringing we were never allowed to go trick or treating we still managed to enjoy ghostly experiences.

The church school was small and quite rigid. The principle was an ex-sergeant, who ran the school like a mini army making us come to attention every time we approached a staff member and answering “yes sir” or “no sir” while enforcing discipline like a drill sergeant. Sleeve lengths and skirt hemlines were inspected every day. I’ll never forget the day my younger sister was called out in the lineup for having too short of a skirt. Lois was having a growing spurt and my mother was hard pressed letting out hems and in some cases sewing a piece of material around the bottom and hemming it up. This came to light when my sister was told to let my mother know she was to let down her hem as her skirt was too short only for Lois to reply, “She can’t, it’s a fake hem.” “What?” roared the principle, “What do you mean by a fake hem? There is no such thing. I can see at least two inches that can be let down.” In vain did my sister protest only to get marked up for arguing. Between the island superstitions and unique church/school experiences this short span in my life still remains a vivid memory.

Sweet Potato Halloween Pie

1 9-inch deep dish pie crust
2 c mashed sweet potatoes
4 oz cream cheese
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
1 (1.55 oz) Hersey’s chocolate bar

In a large bowl beat all the ingredients, except for the pie crust, until smooth and creamy. Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake at 350ยบ for forty-five minutes until the center of the pie is almost firm when you jiggle it. Chill and decorate the pie by cutting the chocolate bar with a sharp knife in pieces to make a Halloween pumpkin face. Can garnish with cool whip or other Halloween candy!

Weekly tip: You can also make a sweet potato custard by eliminating the crust and adding a mashed banana or raisins if you’d like. Another idea is to make a candied sweet potato pie by slicing the sweet potatoes instead of mashing them, and pour the beaten sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon over the sliced sweet potatoes along with halved pecans!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:


Swallow Conrad said...

I was looking for a recipe and came across your site. This site is great! I have already bookmarked you. I have printed up the pie recipe and can't wait to make it for Christmas dinner. My brother LOVES Sweet Potato Pie! Thanks for the hard work! cooking with emotions

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

And many thanks for your kind remarks, Swallow! Welcome to my cooking world!

You made my day-