Japanese Sweet Potato Pie スイートポテトパイ

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  • Crispy and flaky, with a smooth, silky filling, Japanese Sweet Potato Pie is my all-time favorite Japanese pastry.  Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or black tea, this sweet potato pie is light, but rich, making it the perfect afternoon indulgence.

    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.

    When I go back to Japan, I always enjoy going to bakeries with my mom. We love browsing through the tantalizing displays and picking up different kinds of fresh bread and pastry for our breakfast next day.  It’s hard to make a choice, but some of my all-time favorites include Melon Pan, Anpan, Yakisoba Pan, and Korokke Pan which I’ve shared the recipes with you. Today I’m sharing another favorite of mine – Japanese Sweet Potato Pie (スイートポテトパイ).

    What’s Japanese Sweet Potato Pie?

    Japanese Sweet Potato Pie has been a classic pastry in Japan. You can find them at corner mom-and-pop shops to trendy pastry shops. To make this classic pie, Japanese sweet potato is cooked until fork tender, mashed and combined with butter, heavy cream and whisk until silky smooth. Then the mixture is folded into layers of puff pastry sheets and baked until crispy gold. The flaky exterior crackles when you bite into it, giving way to the rich creamy interior of sweet potato filling. It is wonderful with tea or coffee.

    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.

    Japanese Sweet Potato – Satsumaimo

    Originating in South or Central America, Japanese sweet potato or satsumaimo (さつまいも) in Japanese were first introduced to Japan in Okinawa (the old Ryukyu Islands) in the early 17th century by the Chinese. Then, satsumaimo were introduced to the Kyushu island, which makes up the majority of satsumaimo production in Japan.

    Satsumaimo have a purple-ish red skin and pale, cream color flesh. They are high in antioxidants and healthier than a regular potato. Holding a special place in Japanese culture and history, the Japanese sweet potato is one of the beloved ingredients by pastry chefs in Japan.  You can find sweet potatoes being used in many Japanese desserts, both western and Japanese-styles, from pies, cookies, cakes, soft-serve ice-creams, tarts, sweet breads, daigakuimo to every pastry imaginable.

    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.

    Puff Pastry Sheet – Convenient Freezer Essential

    Making the perfect sweet potato pie at home is not an impossible feat, but it does take some time if you want to make the pie crust from scratch. A quick solution is to use puff pastry sheet. You essentially thaw it, roll it out, fill it and bake it.

    I often keep a box of frozen puff pastry in my freezer. It is something of an essential for easy appetizers or dessert-making. If you’ve ever baked with it, you know what I’m talking about. You can quickly pull off the most basic recipe and turn it into something flaky, buttery, elegant and crowd-pleasing snacks.

    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.

    Perfectly flaky, these warm and golden Japanese Sweet Potato Pies are a lovely treat for an afternoon snack or for serving a crowd on a weekend brunch. The recipe that I share yields two pies, but if you want to make one pie (serves 2-4 people), just use half of the ingredients portion I listed below. Enjoy!

    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.

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    4.25 from 4 votes
    Japanese sweet potato pie/puff pastry is on a white plate.
    Sweet Potato Pie
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    50 mins
    Total Time
    1 hr
     

    Crispy and flaky, with a smooth, silky filling, Japanese Sweet Potato Pie is my all-time favorite Japanese pastry.  Best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or black tea, this sweet potato pie is light, but rich, making it the perfect afternoon indulgence.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: pie and tart, sweet potato
    Servings: 2 pies (4" x 7")
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 1 lb Japanese sweet potato (Satsumaimo) (cut in half lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.) (I used purple sweet potato)
    • 2 frozen sheets puff pastry (Each box comes with 2 square sheets)
    • 2 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream
    • 4 Tbsp sugar (50 g)
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg yolk (for filling)
    • 1 tsp black sesame seeds (roasted/toasted)
    • 1 large egg (for pie)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients. Preheat oven to 400 ºF (200 ºC). Place 1 sheet of pastry on a baking sheet which has been lined with parchment paper. Put another pastry sheet on a different sheet of parchment paper. Defrost for 10 minutes at room temperature.

      Sweet Potato Pie Ingredients
    2. Cut the pastry sheets in half with a scissor. Now you have 4 rectangular sheets. Then make several slits on 2 sheets that will go on top of the pie.
      Sweet Potato Pie 1
    3. Peel the sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise.  Then cut into smaller chunks so they will cook faster.

      Sweet Potato Pie 2
    4. In a pot, put sweet potato and cover it with water. Bring it to a boil and cook until skewer goes through the potatoes smoothly, about 12-15 minutes. Drain water completely and transfer to a large bow.
      Sweet Potato Pie 3
    5. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the sweet potato. Add sugar and butter and keep mixing.

      Sweet Potato Pie 4
    6. Add egg yolk and heavy whipping cream and mix well.

      Sweet Potato Pie 5
    7. Now you put the sweet potato mixture on the bottom sheets. Keep about half inch space around the rim. Then cover with the top sheet.
      Sweet Potato Pie 6
    8. Use a fork to pinch the edges.
      Sweet Potato Pie 7
    9. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush top of the pastry so it will turn nice golden-brown. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top.
      Sweet Potato Pie 8
    10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool a bit and ready to serve in 10 minutes.

      Sweet Potato Pie 9
    To Store
    1. You can freeze the baked and cooled pies. Wrap in aluminum foil and put in a freezer bag. To serve, reheat the pie at 350 ºF (180 ºC) for 10-15 minutes, until crisp and flaky. 

    Editor’s Note: The post was originally published on January 17, 2011. The post has been updated with new images and revised recipe.

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