Healthy Oven Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch pie
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 375 crust; 350 pie
  • Views: 12699
  • Comments: 7

Pie and photo by Orange Piggy, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips

Pie and photo by Orange Piggy, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips

If you are looking for something different, a Sweet Potato Cheesecake Pie always fits the bill. This version made with yogurt cheese gives a cheesecake-like consistency and a graham cracker crust.

You can also use canned pumpkin, instead. A true yam is a root vegetable which is grown in Africa. We here in the U.S. grow a variety of sweet potatoes such as the Jewel, the Hernandez, Garnets, White Sweets Beauregards and a few others. Most sweets are grown in the southern states, with North Carolina prominent among them, growing thousands of acres yearly.


If using fresh cooked sweet potatoes, and they are stringy, with long fibers, push the cooked potatoes through a fine mesh strainer or food mill to remove them before using as an ingredient in the pie. You can also use Homemade Pumpkin or Hubbard Squash Puree.

One Graham Cracker Pie or Tart Crust, prebaked and cooled

Sweet Potato Filling
1 cup cooked sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and drained and mashed (or canned pumpkin puree)
2 cups nonfat yogurt cheese, made in advance (See below)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup nonfat instant dry milk powder (do not reconstitute)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch
grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, for garnish

NOTES: Sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams. To cook the sweet potatoes for the filling, place 4 medium or two large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (yams) in a large saucepan an cover with lightly salted cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until easy to handle. Peel and mash the potatoes. You can use the canned variety, too--I have, with excellent results. 

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with the yogurt cheese, brown sugar, dry milk powder, eggs, cornstarch, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger. Mix with a hand held mixer on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.

3.Bake until the edges of the filling are slightly puffed and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake - the center will seem unset but will firm when chilled. Cool to room temperature on a wrie cake rack.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled at least four hours or overnight. Serve chilled.

Keep refrigerated, where the pie will keep for about three days. The pie does not freeze well.

Yogurt cheese is made by draining the whey from the yogurt with the result being a thick yogurt you can bake with. Line a wire strainer with paper towels or cheesecloth, and place over a deep, medium size bowl. Be sure the bottom of the strainer clears the bottom of the bowl by 2 or 3 inches. Spoon 4 cups (one 32-ounce container) plain yogurt into the strainer and place a paper towel or more cheesecloth on top. Place a saucer or small plate in the strainer to lightly weigh the yogurt.

Let stand in the refrigerator until about two cups of the whey has drained off, and the yogurt is thick and somewhat firm, about one and half hours. (There are also yogurt cheese making contraptions that are available at kitchenware shops.) If you hate to dsicard the tangy whey, some frugal cooks use it in soups - but do not use it as a substitute for the liquids in a baked recipe. If you're not in a hurry, do not weigh the yogurt with the saucer, and refrigerate the whole setup overnight to slowly drain the weigh.

The yogurt cheese will yield about half the volume of the undrained yogurt; for example, four cups of yogurt (one thirty-two ounce container) will yield about two cups of yogurt cheese.

Recipe by Sarah Phillips, Healthy Oven Baking Book, Doubleday, 1999

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