A week ago a fabulous man named James Wright did a video of him sampling the WalMart Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie. It caused him to bust out into spontaneous Patti Labelle songs and (of course) the video went viral. WalMart can't keep the pie in stock. But if you want to make the at home you can! Patti has a cookbook and the recipe is in it!
  1. First watch the video if you haven't already. It's awesome. And also makes me want to buy the pie (even though I haven't bought a store bought pie in years)
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  2. Then start making the pie because it is sold out everywhere. Apparently Walmart said they were selling 1 pie per second when they had in stock!
    While you're doing it, go put on a Patti Labelle album. I recommend her classic 80s hit Winner in You featuring On My Own and Oh, People.
  3. Make the crust by first placing 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour & 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl.
    Stir it up with a balloon whisk so the salt gets well blended.
  4. Cut up 1/2 cup of chilled butter flavored shortening into 1/2-inch chunks and sprinkle it over the dry ingredients.
    I would normally tell you to use regular butter or lard but this isn't my recipe. This is Patti's. So do what she says.
  5. Use a fork or pastry blender and cut up the shortening in the flour into pea size chunks.
    Again I would normally tell you to use your hands but a fork or pastry blender is legit.
  6. Sprinkle some ice cold water over the mixture, tossing it with a fork, until it starts to clump up like a dough.
    You'll probably need somewhere between 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Use your own judgment on this one.
  7. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap it with plastic wrap.
    Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight. Or you can skip this step but I think it makes the crust better.
  8. Once chilled, roll the dough out and fit it into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.
    There might be leftover dough hanging over the edge of the pan. Cut it off with scissors and discard it. Then crimp the edge of the pan with you finger decoratively and to anchor the pie to the pan edges.
  9. Cover the pie crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    This will help keep the dough from shrinking. Don't skip this step.
  10. While the dough is chilling, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a heavy pinch of salt to it. Add 3 large orange fleshed sweet potatoes that have been well scrubbed to the pot. They should be about 2 3/4 pounds total.
    No need to cut them up but you can if you want. If you do, cook them for less time.
  11. Cook until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
    The potatoes should be easily pierced with a knife in the center.
  12. Drain the potatoes and run under cold water until you can handle them. Toss the peels. Place the potatoes in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until smooth.
    BTW the peels should come right off.
  13. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the pie pan with the crust on a baking sheet.
    Don't forget to remove the plastic wrap!
  14. Brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the bottom and sides of the crust. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar over the bottom evenly. Bake in the oven for 15 or until it starts to set and brown.
    Don't prick the pie crust if it starts to puff up. It'll settle down again.
  15. While the crust is baking, measure out 3 cups of the sweet potato purée into a bowl and add 7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated white sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup half and half, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg.
    Whisk the entire mixture together until well blended and uniform in color.
  16. Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and smooth out the filling. Move the pie back to the oven. Reduce the heat down to 350°F immediately. Bake until the center of the pie jiggles just barely, about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours long.
    If you want to, you can insert a knife in the middle as well and if it comes out clean then it's done.
  17. Move pie carefully to a wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate (covering loosely) until ready to serve.
    Yay pie!
  18. This recipe above is adapted from a @washingtonpost recipe that Joe Yonan adapted from Patti Labelle's book "Labelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About"