I sometimes see purple sweet potatoes at the grocery store, but they’re not always there, so I never really plan to buy them. But I knew I wanted to try this recipe for vegan purple sweet potato pie with almond coconut crust, so I made sure to have all my non-perishables on hand, including CocoWhip for the topping. I figured that since sweet potatoes are a root vegetable, it was a safe bet to expect them to make an appearance in the fall. So when I saw the purple sweet potatoes again, I bought some and made the pie!
I didn’t like the almond coconut crust of the original recipe. I mean, I liked the ingredients individually, so it sounded good, but I found that it fell apart and got soft after a while and thus did not fulfill its basic function as a crust. I think that even assuming you want a vegan/paleo/gluten-free/keto/whatever crust, there are other options. I don’t have those food restrictions, so I recommend a graham cracker crust. Parbake it if you make your own, or follow the instructions on the package if you buy it premade.
As for the purple sweet potatoes, I used this variety, but any sweet potato should do, including regular orange ones. I added nutmeg and a bit of sugar to the filling (the ingredients below are mine), and it was great! As a matter of fact, the filling was so good that I might make it my default sweet potato pie. The purple sweet potatoes obviously make the pie stand out, though, so buy them if you can find them.
2 lb. purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds (about 4 cups)
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup canned coconut milk
½ cup maple syrup (see notes)
1 ½ Tbsp. tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1 pinch of Korean pepper)
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 graham cracker crust (see note above)
CocoWhip or equivalent, for topping
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Add the purple yams and boil for 10 minutes, or until the yams can be pierced with a fork. Drain the yams then put them in a high-powered blender or food processor.
Add the rest of the pie filling ingredients and blend on high until everything is smooth and creamy.
Pour the pie filling into the baked pie shell and smooth out the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the pie has set but still has some jiggle in the middle. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool completely before serving it. Top with CocoWhip if desired.