What’s Thanksgiving without Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies? Since 2015, the singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman has become a staple of the holiday thanks to her delicious, mouthwatering, and tender Good Life by Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie —perfect for those palates that always craves a flaky crust with a creamy filling. The dessert made of sweet potatoes, butter, and spice and sold at Walmart, go viral every year, and 2020 is not the exception. According to FOX Business, a spokesperson for Walmart said they sell 36,000 units of the artist’s pies every day. To be more specific, 1,500 pie every hour or 25 pies per minute for the past five years. “With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Patti Pie is expected to remain at the top of customer’s lists when shopping for their holiday meal,” Walmart’s spokesperson said.
The Grammy winner’s delightful creation went viral five Thanksgivings ago after pie-taster James Wright posted a video review of her sweet potato pie. The three-minute video garnered more than 6.3 million views on YouTube, and after 72 hours of its release, Walmart revealed they sold one pie every second. The high-demand caught third-party sellers’ attention that offered the product for $50 a pie on eBay.
“You turn into Patti after eating this,” said Wright in the video while devouring a slice of the nationwide-known pie. Months later, the singer and Wright appeared on the Steve Harvey Show, and LaBelle revealed she had invited pie enthusiasts to her house. “Okay, my pies were in stores at Walmart. In September of this year (2015). And then this friend of mine —who wasn’t a friend came along, and this James guy just blew it over the freakin rainbow,” said the “If Only You Knew” interpreter. “Anyway, he was at my house four days ago. He stayed in Philly with me for four days. I took care of him, you know —like feeding him and taking him to the clubs. I call him my angel from pie heaven.”
During an event with WHYY members, The Philadelphia native revealed she wants people to positively react to her food. “I just love to cook and make people happy,” LaBelle said, adding she developed a great friendship with Wright. “James is my good friend,” LaBelle said. “Plus, he can sing his face off.”
Although the Good Life by Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie is the most famously known, the “Lady Marmalade” songstress also has in her line the Southern buttermilk pie, peach cobbler, bread pudding, and banana pudding. If you went to Walmart and couldn‘t get the legendary dessert, The Washington Post published the recipe based on LaBelle’s 1999 cookbook.
Find below the Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie.
Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes one 9-inch pie
FOR THE CRUST
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
FOR THE FILLING
3 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, scrubbed
7 tablespoons (most of 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Two large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
One teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the crust: Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the shortening. Use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-size bits.
Stirring with the fork, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together (you might need more or less water). Gather up the dough and press it into a thick disk. If desired, wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as long as three days.
Lightly flour a work surface. Place the chilled dough on it; roll out to a round that‘s 13 inches across. Fold the dough in half.
Transfer to the pie plate; gently unfold the dough to fit into it. Trim the dough as needed to leave a 1-inch overhang. (Bake or reserve the scraps for another use.)
Fold the dough under itself, so the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute the dough around the edge of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you start the filling (and up to 1 hour).
For the filling: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium; cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Drain the sweet potatoes, letting them fall into a colander. Run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Discard the skins; transfer the cooked sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Use a hand-held electric mixer to blend until creamy and smooth. You‘ll need 3 cups for the filling; scoop out the remainder and reserve for another use.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Uncover the pie shell; brush the interior with one tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of brown sugar over the bottom of the pie shell. Par-bake until the crust is set and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. (If the pie shell puffs, do not prick it.) Let it cool.
Meanwhile, add the seven tablespoons of melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the pureed sweet potatoes. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Pour into the par-baked pie shell, smoothing the surface. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake (middle rack) until a knife inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean, yet the filling still jiggles a bit, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.