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I don't even like sweet potato pie but I love Patti LaBelle's recipe

Having always been a pumpkin pie kind of gal, I gave Patti LaBelle's sweet potato pie recipe my best shot.
What is Thanksgiving without a little pie!?
What is Thanksgiving without a little pie!?Samantha Kubota / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Even though it feels weird to be not doing anything for Thanksgiving this year, I figured there is no reason to skimp on desserts this Thursday.

In anticipation of the holiday, many of us have been googling recipes and every year, Patti LaBelle's sweet potato pie is a full-blown hit on Like, we're talking platinum record, nearly five out of five stars status.

Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie

Growing up, my family usually didn't make sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving — unless the Southern half of the family was making the trek north to my hometown outside of Chicago for the holiday — but I decided to give it a shot. If it's good enough for Patti LaBelle — and millions of Walmart customers, where the pre-made version is sold — it's definitely good enough for me!

I'll be the first to admit that I have never baked with Crisco before. I did my best to follow the directions on the pie crust and even placed a call to my mom to ask why it wasn't working (I hadn't cooled the Crisco sufficiently, it appears). After about an hour, I decidedly gave up.

I am so sorry to all my Midwestern ancestors who I failed with this mess of a pie crust. I happened to have a pre-made one from the store so I swapped that in when it became apparent my homemade crust was not going to turn out.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

I had other things to get in the oven and thankfully I had one of the pre-made pie crusts chilling in my fridge. Sorry not sorry!

The critical part of this sweet potato pie is apparently the "black bottom" crust, which is formed from a layer of brown sugar between the pie crust and the sweet potato filling. This is still easily accomplished with a pre-made crust so I think Ms. LaBelle is probably OK with me cheating in the interest of time.

The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of brown sugar to line the bottom of the pie.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

I pulled my sufficiently soft sweet potatoes out of the pot and ran cold water over them, per LaBelle's instructions, and then tossed them into the stand mixer.

Naturally, because apparently this was just NOT my day, I also missed the step that clearly said to only use three cups of the sweet potatoes when making your filling and to set aside the remainder. So by the time I was ready to dump the filling into my pie crust, I realized I had WAY too much.


I had no choice but to retroactively pull out three cups of filling and hope for the best.

The stand mixer worked great to mash the potatoes and mix all the spices into the filling.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

The pie definitely still tasted delicious and probably would have been even better if I hadn't accidentally diluted the spices with extra potatoes.

"I'm surprised that this is actually good," my friend in my COVID-19 pod that came over for dinner told me.

"I was definitely expecting the worst," another member of my quarantine crew said. "But this is good!"

I tried to capture the brown sugar that I lined the crust with before pouring the pie filling on top here.Samantha Kubota / TODAY

I share these lukewarm reviews with you, dear reader, so you know that even though I messed up two parts of this pie, it was still delicious enough to be termed "good" by the unlucky people that have been stuck with me for the last eight months straight. (They definitely also took home leftovers!)

Best of luck this quarantined turkey day!