Sweet Potato and Vanilla Bean Tart


I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving in Australia. I love the thought of all those dessert pies.

American cooks make wonderful pies and tarts. Pie seems like such a nostalgic, comfy, delicious thing to bake and eat.

I have imaginings of diners with slices of pie under glass domes: coconut pie, cherry pie, chocolate pie, apple pie, peach pie…wonderful!

I believe the Amish people make an excellent pie. Makes sense really. This is a culture that places great store in food that is honest and traditional. I saw a review for an Amish homestyle restaurant the other day, gee it looked good.
Apparently very popular, people queued for a chance to chow down on chicken and noodles, home baked rolls AND as many slices of pie from a glass front fridge, as they wanted.

Well, my pie/tart today is a loving, respectful nod to all the American bakers and their wonderful pies.

Sweet Potato and Vanilla Bean Tart
Preheat the oven to 180C
Either bake, boil, steam or microwave about 500g of sweet potato, mash, and set aside to cool.


Line a pie tin with shortcrust pastry. Make your own favourite pastry or use frozen.

Weigh down with baking beads, and bake until light gold at the edges.
Carefully remove the beads (hot, hot, hot!) and put the pastry back into the oven so that the base of the tart cooks.

Remove when the base has dried out nicely and reduce the oven heat to 160C.

While the pastry is cooking you can prepare the filling.

»»2 whole eggs
»»4 egg yolks
»»3/4 cup caster sugar
»»3/4 cup light Karo syrup
»»3/4 cup evaporated milk
»»1/2 cup cream
»»the seeds from a vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
»»1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg


»» 500g mashed sweet potato. I actually pushed mine through a sieve for an extra smooth puree.


Whisk everything together really well.
Put your pastry shell on a baking sheet and put it on the oven shelf it will be cooking on.
Pour in your sweet potato mix and gently push the shelf into the oven.
You want to try and avoid any mix going between the pastry and the tin.
Cook until gently set. It is a custard so it will still be a bit wobbly, you want it set and wobbly, just not liquidy.
Your pie will firm up when it’s chilled.

Mine took about 40 minutes to cook.

Cool for 10 minutes on a cake rack and then chill until thoroughly cold.

Absolutely lovely. Sweet, silky, delectable, nectar of the gods.

To my friends in the US, blessings as you prepare for Thanksgiving. To my friends everywhere else, channel your inner American and bake a pie!

Till next time,

6 thoughts on “Sweet Potato and Vanilla Bean Tart

  1. This pie sounds delicious. It’s a good tip, too, to pour the filling into the shell while it’s in the oven. I hate when the filling splashes onto the crust. I don’t think you need Thanksgiving as a reason for making wonderful food – you do it every day.

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