Friday, May 14, 2021

Life & Style

Using the Power of Food to Connect, Share, and Enhance

To celebrate February’s Black History Month, I got a chance to make a new recipe, the Civil Rights Spiced Sweet Potato Pie featured in a recent edition of Yankee magazine.

The recipe is from Nadine Nelson, a sustainable chef, artist, and social entrepreneur/activist from Hamden, who also wrote an article for that edition of the magazine.

The article is about a gathering at Common Ground, a high school in New Haven, where the making of pie and an event called “Peace Through Pie” brought “comfort and purpose.”

She writes: “The template for Peace Through Pie is flexible, but the goal is consistent: to use the power of food as a way to connect us to each other, to share our legacies, and to enhance our communal well-being. Whether you want to create your own Peace Through Pie event or just bake for friends and family, I’ve created five recipes that are easy to make and versatile enough to be filled with what is seasonal and on hand.”

One of those recipes is this sweet potato pie recipe, which features allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Check out the magazine for the other recipes, which include Vegetarian Samosa-Style Potpies, a Winter Root Vegetable Cheese Tart, a Puerto Rican-Style Shepherd’s Pie, and a Pear Cranberry Cheddar Pie with Hazelnut Crumble. Find that article at .

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at

Civil Rights Spiced Sweet Potato Pie

From Yankee magazine, January/February 2021

Yield: 8 servings



2 medium sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled and mashed

¾ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

4 tablespoons salted butter, mashed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 9-inch pastry shell, parbaked (parbaking optional)

Whipped cream, for serving



Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, using a standing or handheld mixer, beat mashed sweet potatoes together with brown sugar, condensed milk, butter, flour, spices, salt, eggs, and vanilla until well blended and smooth.

Poor filling into pie shell. It will be full but should not spill over the sides, although I decided to put the pie atop a big piece of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degree and bake until top is puffed and browned, 20 to 30 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Lee White is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Lee at .

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