New Orleans’ Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie

Five generations ago in the Galatoire family Jean Gatatoire emigrated from Pardies, France bringing his treasured family recipes with him. Settling in New Orleans, in 1905 he opened Galatoire’s restaurant on Bourbon Street. Today the tradition of French-influenced cuisine with a decidedly Southern Louisiana twist, coupled with superior service continues to make Galatoire’s a favorite of the crescent city’s locals and visitors alike.

dragon mardi grass
An impressive dragon float makes his way into the Mardi Gras parade. Image Kurt Winner

Attending Mardi Gras? Make your reservation at Galatoire’s now, for it is nearly impossible to get in there during Mardi Gras season. Mardi Gras, the last day of Carnival is February 28th in 2017 but festivities, parties and parades begin many weeks before the final Mardi Gras Parade.

Decadent and sinfully rich this Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie is sure to please. Image Kurt Winner
Decadent and sinfully rich this Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie is sure to please. Image Kurt Winner

We have a fabulous recipe for you influenced by the “Fat Tuesday” theme of Mardi Gras in which the family traditionally indulged in sweets, liquor, cakes, pies and everything else before giving them up for the Catholic Church‘s season of Lent in preparation for Easter. Tucked into Galotoire’s dessert menu between the sinful Caramel Cup Custard and the Black Bottom Pecan Pie is Galatoire’s Famous Sweet Potato Cheesecake. Galatoire’s serves it with caramel sauce, candied spiced pecans and curls of white chocolate. Our version is simpler but equally rich. And it is not difficult to make. Celebrate “laissez les bons temps rouler” as they say in New Orleans, and “let the good times roll.” Well at least until Ash Wednesday!

New Orlean's Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie
Inspired by the famous Galatoire's restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, this sinfully rich pie is deceptively simple to make. And it's not too soon to think about Mardi Gras.
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 10
  • CRUST: Simple Pie Crust
  • Note- we prefer a pastry crust but you could use a graham cracker crust if you wish.
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 3TBSP ice cold water
  • 1 (8-ounce / 225-g) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ ( 8oz ) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup (200 g) fine sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups (270 g) mashed sweet potatoes (see note)
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup (165 ml) evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ( or less to taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. CRUST:
  2. Cut shortening into flour and salt.
  3. Crack egg into a small bowl and add water and vinegar, mix together.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry all at once.
  5. Using your hands, gather all into a ball. Do not work the dough.
  6. Rest dough 10 minutes in fridge.
  7. This makes enough for 2- 8 inch pies so you will have extra.
  8. We just make two small personal pies for fun because there is also extra filling for this pie that will be left.
  9. After resting dough press bits of dough from center of a 9 inch glass pie plate all the way up sides and make a crust edge.
  10. Don’t make it too thick.
  11. Prick pie crust all over with fork.
  12. Bake it empty at 450 F 10 minutes.
  13. FILLING:
  14. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.
  15. Add sugar and brown sugar, beating until completely smooth.
  16. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  17. Add sweet potatoes, eggs, evaporated milk, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg, beating until well combined.
  18. Pour into crust.
  19. Bake at 350 F until edge is set, 45 to 55 minutes.
  20. TOPPING:
  21. Open the vanilla bean and scrape all of the seeds into a bowl.
  22. Beat together with cream and sugar until peaks form.
  23. Serve on cut pie pieces when plating.
  24. Note: for 1-3/4 cups mashed sweet potatoes, you’ll need to roast 1 pound (455 g) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes). Using a fork, pierce the potatoes in several places then roast in a 400°F oven until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out the flesh, and mash until smooth.

Michelle M. Winner

Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares food news and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)

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