Recipe: Nicole Rucker’s Rustic Sweet Potato Pie

During a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, Good Food Pie Contest champion and Cofax Coffee chef/co-owner Nicole Rucker fell in love with the sweet potato pies at Martha Lou's Kitchen. Here, she shares her own version, using baby garnet yams from Rocky Canyon Farms.

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Pastry Chef Nicole Rucker’s Sweet Potato Pie, inspired by Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina.

Garnet Yams - Greg Nauda & Nicole Rucker
Greg Nauta of Rocky Canyon Farms and Nicole Rucker of Cofax Coffee show off their garnet yams.

During a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, Good Food Pie Contest champion and Cofax Coffee chef/co-owner Nicole Rucker fell in love with the sweet potato pies baked by 85-year-old Martha Lou Gadsden of Martha Lou’s Kitchen.

Inspired to create her own version of this unforgettable sweet potato pie, Nicole began experimenting once garnet yams came back into season this fall in Southern California. For her recipe, she prefers to use the Rocky Canyon Farms’ smaller, baby garnet yams, which she says are less fibrous and have a a luscious, creamy texture.

Sweet potato pie filling typically takes the form of a smooth purée, but Nicole fork-mashes only one cup’s portion of her yams, leaving the rest as chunks, for that rustic, fall pie effect. She then encloses her sweet potato pie filling with thick lattice work on top, but you can really create any design of your choice.

If you’re curious to try Nicole’s Rustic Sweet Potato Pie or any of her other Thanksgiving pies, she’ll be selling them by the slice at her pie salon this Saturday and Sunday from 4–8PM at Cofax Coffee. So bring your pie questions, learn insider baking tricks and exchange pie recipes with Nicole.