It may look like a pumpkin, but these petrifying pies are made with North Carolina's state vegetable — the sweet potato! And maybe we're not too far off. The word Jack-O-Lantern comes from Jack O'Lantern, aka Stingy Jack, an Irish legend about a lost soul that wanders the earth on Halloween. The Irish and Scottish make their own versions of Jack’s lantern by carving faces into turnips, beets and ...potatoes.
If beginning with uncooked, whole sweet potatoes, microwave (about 10 minutes, turning once) or bake (about 30 minutes) until fork tender. Cool, remove skins by hand and mash. You can do this the day before and store in the fridge.
Set your pie crusts out to thaw for 10-15 minutes before filling. We recommend putting both crust on a baking sheet for easy handling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together by hand.
Pour into unbaked pie crusts. Alternatively, you can pour into silicone cupcake liners or oven-proof ramekins for crustless mini pies.
Bake for 55-60 minutes (or 40 for mini pies) until firm and slightly browned, then allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Pipe jack-o-lantern faces onto each pie. Optionally, you can add some orange sprinkles over the top to punch up the autumn color and festive look.