Traditional recipes

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

Holiday sweet potato pie with a pecan topping. Delicious!

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

A Holiday Pie Starring Sweet Potatoes

Have you ever had sweet potato pie? It’s the Landcruiser of holiday pies. Heavy, dense, feeds many. Similar in some respects to a pumpkin pie, but whereas pumpkin pie is all about the spices, sweet potato pie is all about the sweet potato.

You can actually taste the wonderful flavor of sweet potato in this pie, which is only enhanced, not supplanted by the additions of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla.

Add a Splash of Bourbon

We’ve also added a splash of bourbon to the filling (of course, right?). You can skip the bourbon if you want, but if you have some bourbon in the house, by all means use it.

How to Make Sweet Potato Pie

Making sweet potato pie is a two part process: First, roast the sweet potatoes in the oven. Then, scoop out the soft insides, mix the mashed sweet potato with the other pie filling ingredients, and pour it into a pie crust to bake in the oven.

Bake your pie for about an hour at 350°F. When done, the filling should be set with just the barest bit of wobble in the middle. If the crust starts to brown before the pie is done, tent the edges with foil.

Caramel Pecan Topping Makes It Special

A sweet potato pie is fantastic adorned with nothing but a dollop of whipped cream, of course. But add a caramel pecan topping, and this pie becomes irresistible.

The topping is very simple. Just melt butter and brown sugar, then toss with the pecans until coated. Spread this over the pie and it’s ready for the dessert table.

Serve Warm or Room Temperature

You can serve this pie while it’s still warm from the oven, or after it’s cooled to room temperature.

You can also make this pie a few days ahead and keep it chilled in the fridge, but wait to top it with the pecans until you’re ready to serve. Warm the pie briefly in the oven before topping with the pecans and serving, or let it sit out while you’re eating dinner so that it comes to room temperature in time for dessert.

Leftovers should be kept refrigerated and will last for about five days.

Looking for more ideas for Thanksgiving pie?

  • Our All-Time Best Thanksgiving Pies from Our Site
  • Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Apple Slab Pie

This recipe is revised and updated from one we originally posted in 2006, which we adapted from Martha Stewart. We’ve changed everything except the pecan topping, which is crazy good. I’ve adjusted the pecan topping instructions a bit from the original. I find that as soon as the pecans are coated with the brown sugar caramel sauce they need to be poured over the pie, no waiting or they will seize.

Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping Recipe

We've given directions for making a homemade crust with a food processor. If you want, you can use a pre-made frozen crust. Look for a deep dish one. If you use a shallow frozen crust, you may have enough filling for two pies. In that case you may need to reduce the cooking time.

Ingredients

Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip the salt if using salted butter)
  • 10 Tbsp (140g) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp ice water

Pie Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pounds (900g) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp granulated white sugar (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if you want less sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon whisky (optional)
  • 7 ounces (210ml) sweetened condensed milk

Pie Topping

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup (64g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup pecans (110g), half of them roughly chopped, the other half whole

Method

1 Make the pie dough: If you are making the pie crust from scratch, make the pie dough at least an hour in advance of making the pie. To make the dough, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend.

Add half of the butter and pulse several times. Add the rest of the butter and pulse several more times, until the butter pieces are not bigger than the size of a pea.

Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse a couple of times. Add another tablespoon, and maybe just a teaspoon more if needed, and pulse, just enough so that the dough holds together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Empty the food processor bowl onto a clean surface and gather the dough into your hands and form a ball. Flatten to a smooth disk about 6 inches wide. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

2 Bake the sweet potatoes: Pierce the sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork in several places.

Put on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through and soft.

Remove the sweet potatoes from oven when done and let cool.

3 Roll out the pie dough, line pie dish, freeze: Remove the dough disk from the refrigerator and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out. Place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round, large enough for a 9-inch pie plate.

Place on dough on and in the pie dish, turn the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the bottom of the crust a few times with tines of a fork.

Place into the freezer to chill.

4 Mash the cooked sweet potatoes: When the cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. You should have 2 cups of sweet potato purée.

5 Beat eggs with sugars, spices, bourbon, sweetened condensed milk: In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, bourbon whisky (if using), and sweetened condensed milk.

6 Combine egg mixture with mashed sweet potatoes, pour into pie shell: Whisk together the egg sugar mixture with the mashed sweet potato until smooth. Pour into the frozen, unbaked pie shell. Smooth surface so that it is even.

7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for one hour or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and let sit to cool down for 30 minutes or so.

8 Make pecan topping: Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth, a couple of minutes. The sugar should bubble up a bit.

Stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. The mixture should bubble up a lot. As soon as you've mixed in the cream, add the pecans. Stir to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the pecans are coated with the sugar mixture, pour them over the top of the pie. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread them out in an even layer on the top of the pie.

Let the pie cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Recipe Summary

  • ½ recipe Crisp and Tender Pastry
  • FILLING
  • 2 ¼ pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, such as Garnet (sometimes called "yams")
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • PECAN TOPPING
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Make pastry as directed in a regular 9-in. pie pan. Let cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375° and make filling: Bake sweet potatoes in a shallow pan until very tender when pierced, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours. Let cool. Scoop flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth. Measure 2 cups save extra for soup or another use.

Reduce oven to 350°. With a mixer, beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until blended. Pour into crust and spread level. Wrap pie rim with 4 strips of foil.

Bake pie 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together topping ingredients except pecans until smooth. Stir in pecans.

Remove foil from pie. Evenly drop small spoonfuls of pecan mixture in a border around edge of pie. Continue to bake until center jiggles only slightly when shaken gently, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 2 hours.


Sweet Potato Pie with Crumble Topping

Last year I shared a sweet potato pie recipe topped with toasted marshmallows that was totally amazing (I’ll link to it at the bottom, if you want to check it out!). But if I’m totally honest with you, I’m usually not a huge marshmallow fan. I have a marshmallow creamer recipe that awesome, marshmallow frosting, and I’ll eat anything s’mores. But on sweet potatoes, I just love that pecan and brown sugar streusel crumbly topping. So. Good.

So I thought, it’s delicious on sweet potato casserole, why not put it on sweet potato PIE?? And here we are. With this delicious Sweet Potato Pie with Crumble Topping.

New to the pie-making scene? Here are some helpful Pie Making Resources to make sure all your pies come out perfect and delicious!


1 1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter very soft or slightly melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup half and half
1 (9-inch size) deep dish pie shell

Pecan Streusel
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the butter and sweet potatoes by hand. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add the eggs and half and half and mix until uniform in color.

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Place the pie in the oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

While the pie is baking, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the streusel topping. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the pecans by hand.

Sprinkle the pie with the topping and return it to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.


PRINT THE RECIPE!

Ingredients

For the pie filling:

  • 1 pastry for a single crust pie (SEE NOTES)
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 5 medium
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the praline topping:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup mini-marshmallows (optional)

Instructions

To make the pie filling:

Recipe Notes

Here are a few more holiday pie recipes you might enjoy:

Our Classic Double Crust Apple Pie Recipe – made with tart, juicy apples piled high and wrapped in a buttery, flaky, double crust pastry. To me, nothing says ‘home’ like Apple Pie! Click HERE to get the recipe for Apple Pie.

Chocolate Pecan Pie – Fudgy and rich, this is an easy pie to make and a favorite of everyone during the holidays. Click HERE to get the recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie.

a surprisingly unique and delicious tart with a cream cheese pumpkin base and a sweet, crunchy crumble top loaded with toasted pecans. Click HERE to get the recipe for the Pumpkin Tart.

Featured Ingredient: Pure Maple Syrup

This recipe calls for pure maple syrup in the filling and in the pecan praline topping. Don’t substitute any old syrup – use only the best, real-deal maple syrup. Amazon carries some good brands if your local grocery store does not. Enjoy!

*Saving Room for Dessert is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program

I earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog. Thanks for supporting SRFD!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia

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20 Comments


I made this recipe over the Thanks giving holiday, and I must say, it turned out great. I’d never cooked a sweet potato in the microwave before, and I’ll admit, I was bit unsure/curious how it’d turn out. But sure enough, microwaving really is a ridiculously simple way to prepare a sweet potato, and the resulting flesh was nice and soft and easy to mash. Here’s where I messed up. I anticipated I’d be a lazy scooper when it came time to remove the flesh from the skin. I really wanted to reach the 2 cups the recipe called for, so I thought I’d be clever and cook 2lbs 2oz of potato instead of just 2lbs. I ended up being much more thorough with my scooping than anticipated, and I had much more potato than I needed. I had the opportunity to do the smart thing and measure out the 2 cups, but that’s when the laziness finally came into play. I decided to use all of the potato and wound up with more filling than I needed. Which sucked because the praline sauce on top was DELICIOUS.

I almost didn’t make it on time. Reading the instructions (step number 4 to be precise), I was under the impressiom I was supposed to let the pie bake for 30 minutes THEN start making the praline sauce. Luckily, I realized that wasn’t the case and that the sauce was supposed to go on top after the 30 minutes of bake time. I was able to get the sauce ready in time, but I couldn’t really use as much of it as I wanted since I’d overfilled the pie and didn’t want things spilling over.

Even with my mistake, the pie turned out great! The filling was smooth, you could taste the spice, it wasn’t overly sweet, and the maple flavor really did shine through to pair well with the nuttiness of the pecans on top. Only thing I needed more of was the praline lol, so I’ll be sure to not overfill the pie next time so I can properly sauce it. Thanks for the recipe! ?

Thanks for the feedback Postuleo! So happy this pie turned out for you. This is a wonderful holiday pie and a personal favorite of mine. Bravo!

If you brought dough from the store, does it still have to be baked before you cook the pie?

Hi Monie. Whether you use a frozen crust, store-bought refrigerated crust or homemade, I recommend blind-baking the crust to prevent it from getting soggy. It’s simple to do and will make a big difference in the final product. You can line the pie shell with foil or parchment paper. Send me an email if you want to discuss in more detail. Thanks!


Sweet Potato Pie with a Butter Pecan Topping

Now, if you’re a sweet potato fan then this recipe is for you. I am a huge sweet potato fan, I feel like it’s such a comfort food. With the holiday season approaching, I thought it would be a great time to release a sweet potato pie recipe. This is another recipe that has minimal ingredients but jammed packed with flavor. Oh, and I like to add a twist to mine.

Now I know you might be thinking, sweet potato pie? Let me reassure you, that this is more of a popular dish than you could ever imagine. Whoever originally thought of putting this into a pie form is a genius and I feel like we should give them a moment of silence for thinking outside of the box.

You cannot go wrong with a butter pecan topping, right? The topping on this sweet potato pie, is drool worthy. A creamy butter flavor, with a crunchy pecan in every bite!

Okay, I think I’m done being dramatic, so let’s make ourselves a sweet potato pie!

What you’ll need

Pie Filling

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup salted butter (you could use unsalted, but I personally find that salted butter gives it a such good flavor)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Let’s make us a sweet potato pie!

Chop your sweet potatoes and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Cook until tender.

Once the potatoes are done, drain them and mash them up with 1/4 cup of butter.

While the sweet potatoes are boiling, go ahead and get your pie crust ready. If you’re making a pie crust from scratch, check out how to make a pie crust from scratch here. If using a store-bought one, get it into your pie pan and ready.

When the sweet potatoes are all mashed and ready, let them cool for a couple minutes before adding in the rest of the ingredients.

After a few minutes of cooling, add in 2 eggs, 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar – packed, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and a pinch of ginger. Stir until well combined.

Pour filling into the pie shell and bake in oven at 350F for 55 minutes. Baking time may vary with different appliances.

Once the pie is cooked, remove from oven and let cool.

While the pie is cooling, you can begin making the butter pecan topping.

In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup salted butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add in 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Stirring constantly so nothing burns.

When it’s all mixed together, toss in the pecans. You can use whole pecans, halves or pieces. I personally like using pieces. Once pecans are added, keeping stirring over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

After about 5 minutes pour the butter pecan topping on top of the pie.

Let everything completely cool before cutting and serving – roughly 4-6 hours.

Working on your holiday treats? Check out some other holiday treats on the blog.


How To Cook Sweet Potatoes For A Pie

You can roast the sweet potatoes or boil them. But first, scrub the potatoes with a produce brush and rinse with cool water.

How To Boil Sweet Potatoes

To boil sweet potatoes, you need to peel them first. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife to peel the potatoes. Cut into cubes. Try to keep the cubes about the same size.

Add the sweet potato cubes to a large saucepan. Fill the pot about halfway with water. You want the potatoes covered. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and mash.

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking dish with foil. Place sweet potatoes on the foil-lined baking pan and roast for an hour or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.

Let cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Discard potato skins.

How Long Does A Sweet Potato Pecan Pie Last?

A baked and cooled pie will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze a baked sweet potato pie for up to one month.

A Southern Staple

Sweet potato pie is a southern staple. I can’t remember a holiday when mama didn’t make at least two sweet potato pies. We always had pecan pies as well. I think sweet potato pecan pie is the best of both worlds.


Pecan–Sweet Potato Pie

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Inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s Pecan and Cinnamon Pie, this beauty of a pie will make you stick out from all the bakers at that holiday potluck. With bourbon, spiced sweet potatoes, molasses, and pecans, it’s sure to be the hit of the party. You start by making a pre-baked pie crust spiked with bourbon, make a spiced sweet potato filling, and a molasses-sweetened bourbon topping. These elements are layered with pecan halves, then baked and served every so slightly warm. Serve with Easy Whipped Cream or Cinnamon Ice Cream.

Tips for Christmas

Instructions

  1. 1 To the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse a few times to ensure everything’s evenly distributed. Add all of the cold butter. Pulse a few times until the butter consists of mostly pea-sized pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of the chilled bourbon, pulse add the ice water, and pulse again. Continue pulsing until the dough comes together when squeezed between the palms of your hands—this will let you know that your dough is sticky enough but not too dry and will hold together.
  2. 2 Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface to finish working the dough in a technique called fraisage: blending the dough by hand to create long, alternating strands of butter and dough, to ensure a flaky crust. Using the heel of one hand, smear sections of the dough little by little across the work surface. Do this once for each section—don’t overwork the dough by smearing the same piece again and again. Once you have gone through all parts of the dough once, bring it together and form into a solid disk. Wrap in plastic film and let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F for at least 30 minutes before you plan to bake the crust. Arrange a rack in the middle.
  3. 3 Once the dough has rested, roll it out to a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough and fold the excess under itself, crimping the edges to seal. Transfer to the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
  4. 4 Once you’re ready, use a fork to prick the entire bottom of the crust to avoid air pockets and fill it with pie weights. Bake the crust on a baking sheet until set and light brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and let the crust cool slightly before adding the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. 1 In the food processor, puree the sweet potato pulp until smooth.
  2. 2 Add the remaining filling ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. Set aside

Make the topping:

  1. 1 In a bowl, whisk together the egg and the molasses until well blended.
  2. 2 Add the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, bourbon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Assemble and bake:

  1. 1 Arrange half the pecans in a single layer in the prebaked crust, set on a baking sheet. Spoon the sweet potato filling on top and spread it evenly.
  2. 2 Add the molasses topping and spread it evenly over the layer of pecans.
  3. 3 Arrange the remaining pecans in a simple decorative layer, setting them into the molasses filling in concentric circles.
  4. 4 Transfer the pie, still on its baking sheet, to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream.

Directions

For Crust: Combine the flour, pecans, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine the egg and milk, then stir into the flour mixture until the crust just holds together.

Wrap the crust in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For Filling: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

For Topping: Mix the butter, sugar, syrup and egg. Add the pecans and stir well.

To complete the pie, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Remove the crust mixture from the refrigerator and roll it out into a 10-inch circle and carefully place it in an 8-inch pie pan, folding the overhang into itself and flare it out over the edge of the pan.

Roll a rolling pin over the top to press off any excess. Crimp decoratively. Line the crust with waxed paper and fill with pie weights or beans, then bake until the crust just begins to crisp, about eight minutes.

Remove the paper and weights. Reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and bake for another eight minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F.

Fill the crust with the sweet potato mixture, then top with the pecan mixture. Bake until the center sets, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before slicing to serve.


Pecan Crunch Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie

Bourbon, especially wheated bourbon, pairs particularly well with brown sugar and pecans. Save the Pappy Van Winkle for drinking for cooking and baking, use Maker’s Mark, Redemption Wheated Bourbon or Heaven Hill Larceny. If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can substitute one part vanilla extract plus two parts water for each tablespoon of bourbon in this recipe.

Ingredients

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 small to medium

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 9-inch pie crust, partially baked

Directions

Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them until completely cooked through. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, but it will take from 30 to 60 minutes.)

Remove cooked sweet potatoes from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Halve each potato crosswise, then insert small spoon between skin and flesh, and scoop flesh into medium bowl discard skin. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes you should have about 2 cups of flesh after removing skin. While potatoes are still hot, add butter and mash with fork or wooden spoon small lumps of potato should remain.

Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl stir in bourbon, molasses and vanilla, then whisk in milk. Gradually add egg mixture to sweet potatoes, whisking gently to combine.

Heat partially baked pie crust in oven until warm, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle bottom of pie shell evenly with brown sugar. Pour sweet potato mixture into pie shell over brown sugar layer. Bake for 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, toss chopped pecans with cane syrup until evenly coated set aside.

Lower temperature to 350F, spread the pecan and cane syrup topping over the top of the pie, then return pie to the oven and continue baking until filling is set around edges but center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 40 minutes.

Transfer pie to wire rack cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, and serve.