Sweet Potato Pie

1 pound of sweet potatoes
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup -1 cup white sugar (or other sweetener, if you use a liquid like maple syrup, reduce the milk by 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Rub sweet potato skin with vegetable oil and bake whole at 400˚ for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potatoes, and remove the skin.

Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 350˚ for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: Maple Bourbon – add two tablespoons of bourbon, and use 1/2 cup of maple syrup as the sweetener (reducing the milk to 1/4 cup).
Poached Pear topping – peel, slice in half, and remove seeds from 4-5 bosc pears. Boil them in a mixture of 1/2 cup maple syrup, 3 cups water, 1/2 cup brandy, with 3-4 whole cloves, a vanilla bean sliced open, and 1 stick of cinnamon, until pears are tender through. Once pie is assembled, slice the pears into thin long slices and arrange in a circular pattern covering the surface of the pie. Glaze with a few tablespoons of jelly warmed in a pan, like apricot or cider jelly. For bonus fun, add little teeny cubes of candied ginger to the jelly while it warms, and sprinkle those over the top of the pears while you brush the glaze on.