In the southern United States, it is popular to bake sweet potatoes into pies. The flavor and texture is similar to a pumpkin pie, only more dense and richer. Sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams, but they are neither potatoes or yams. They are root vegetables. Sweet potatoes are high in nutrition and fiber, packed full of vitamins A, B6 and C, beta-carotene, iron and potassium.
Choose sweet potatoes that are dry and clean without blemishes. Short plump sweet potatoes are less stringy than long thin ones and will help make a better pie.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with fork tines. Make or purchase a deep-dish pie shell.
Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Sweet potatoes are done when they are soft to the touch. Let them cool. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the pulp.
Beat 4 tbsp. softened butter with 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar until creamy, using a hand mixer. Add 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. orange zest, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. ground allspice and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix well.
In a large bowl, mash the sweet potatoes. Add 3/4 cup of evaporated milk and the butter mixture. Beat with the mixer until smooth.
Pour the filling into a deep-dish pie shell. Place on a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour, or until the filling is firm.
Serve warm or cold, garnished with whipped cream or ice cream.