From the Queen of the Kitchen: Sweet Potato Pie

Red Sweet potato

M.L. Tyson’s 1874 cookbook The Queen of the Kitchen: A Collection of Southern Cooking Receipts has been, as the author writes, “carefully compiled from several old family receipt-books, which are regarded as heir-looms; many of them being nearly a century old.”

Tyson prides herself on the variety of recipes in her cookbook. “That the single volume contains many different style of cooking is, in itself, a recommendation,” she writes, “for, as every cook knows, the great art of cooking is to combine variety with simplicity, and that it is chiefly in the manner of preparing food that makes it palatable.”

Tyson’s economical recipe for sweet potato pie exemplifies this adage. This tasty dessert goes well with sweetened heavy cream.

Sweet Potato Pie

Bake sweet potatoes not quite done; peel them, and cut them in slices; put them onto a deep pie-plate, lined with rich paste [pastry]; put a layer of potatoes, and one of brown sugar; on the top layers, put 1 table-spoon of butter, cut in small pieces; pour over it a little wine and water mixed, or a little lemon juice and water; bake slowly for 1 hour. If the oven is hot it will burn with cooking the pie.


Baumgarthuber, Christine. Fermented Foods: The History and Science of a Microbiological Wonder. Reaktion Books, 2021.

Would you rather receive The Austerity Kitchen by email? Then sign up for my Substack.

And, if you’d like to help the Kitchen keep cookin’, please consider picking up a copy of my book, which you may find on one of the sites listed here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s