Recipe: Lannie’s Lord Have Mercy Sweet Potato Pie

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Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.

Food historians Marilynn and Sheila Brass cook up the past by using abandoned recipes of long ago in their book, Heirloom Baking. The Brass Sisters have amassed a collection of heirloom recipes that transcend the ingredients to become living histories of the people who created them.  They first shared this recipe for Lannie’s Lord Have Mercy Sweet Potato Pie on November 10, 2007.

Keep reading for the full recipe…

Lannie’s Lord Have Mercy Sweet Potato Pie (1920’s)
The recipe for this outstanding Sweet Potato Pie comes from Yvette Gooding. It is the pie her maternal grandmother, Lannie Waters Edmondson, made for special family gatherings. Mrs. Edmondson, a native of Kinston, North Carolina, taught Yvette how to bake when she was just seven years old. The late Mrs. Edmondson is remembered for having a saying for every occasion and a wonderful sense of humor too.

Makes 2 pies, 8 – 10 slices per pie

  • 2 unbaked pie shells
  • 2 1/2 lb raw sweet potatoes
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Place prepared sweet potatoes in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With mixer running on low, add butter. Add brown sugar and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add heavy cream and vanilla. Do not overbeat. Add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.

3. Pour batter into pie shells. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into pie comes out clean. The center of the pie should wiggle a bit. Cool 2 to 3 hours on a rack. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store covered with a paper towel and plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

How to Prepare Sweet Potatoes for Pie

  • Preparing the sweet potatoes for Mrs. Edmondson’s pie is worth the effort. Select large sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork, and place them on a foiled-covered (shiny-side up) metal baking pan that has been coated with vegetable spray. Bake in a 400°F oven for 1 hour.
  • Place the baking pan on a cooling rack. Carefully cut the hot sweet potatoes in half lengthwise so that they will cool more quickly. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides (discard the skins) and place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Weigh the sweet potato pulp after scooping it, since the size and weight are hard to discern with your eyes alone. Process until the potatoes are soft and fluffy.
  • For two pies, you will need 2 ½ lb. or 40 oz. raw sweet potatoes to make 22 oz of processed cooked sweet potato–approximately four large potatoes to start. Do not use canned sweet potatoes because freshly baked potatoes still retain some of their fiber.