The Best Type Of Sweet Potato To Use For Pie

Let's be honest: Cooking can sometimes be frustrating. When you're excited to prepare a recipe, you make your shopping list and pick out all your ingredients, but there are times when the finished dish is disappointing. Even great cooks end up with flops in the kitchen. Culinary triumphs are gratifying; failures are discouraging.

One of the reasons a new (or even a tried-and-true) recipe might not turn out well is, paradoxically, actually a delightful conundrum — we have so many options. This means a supermarket trip for sweet potatoes might present you with a bevy of choices. Are all kinds of this tuber the same? Absolutely not!

How do you know which sweet potatoes are best for your recipe? Turns out, it pays to do a little research. So you know you want to make a classic sweet potato pie. Yes, the recipe says you can use store-bought purée, but you really want to make everything from scratch — even your pie crust – and you're not about to open a can for that delicious filling. Is there one kind of sweet potato that will perform best in your pie? We're glad you asked.

The three most common types of sweet potato

Because the different kinds of sweet potatoes you're likely to find in the grocery store have different properties, they're not all equally suited for every recipe. Sustained Kitchen says the variety you'll probably encounter most often is the Beauregard, which is large and the sweetest of the three most common types. It has a firm texture and is great for making delectable, fluffy biscuits, per Cook's Illustrated, as well as other recipes. The Jewel — the second most common — is slightly less sweet in comparison to the Beauregard but still suitable for many purposes.

But the superstar for sweet potato pies is the Garnet — the juiciest of the three. Its moist quality makes it not ideal for salads and soups but just perfect for pies and other baked treats (via Sustained Kitchen). This type, per Treehugger, has purple-red skin, bright orange flesh, deeper flavor, and a smoother, thicker texture. Cook's Illustrated notes that Garnets aren't as sweet as Beauregards or Jewels, meaning you can sweeten up your pie to your liking. If you're going the from-scratch route, avoid this big mistake people tend to make with sweet potatoes and make sure they're the Garnet variety for best results.