The freezer case at Trader Joe’s is full of interesting goodies, particularly when it comes to desserts. You’ll always find ice creams, macarons and cakes in seasonal flavors, just waiting to be served up at a holiday gathering. One new addition to the case is their Sweet Potato Pie with a touch of Maple Bourbon flavor. That pie name is quite a mouthful and one of the helpful employees I spoke with at the store told me that it was launched as an alternative to regular pumpkin pie (even though we all love pumpkin pie) for the holiday season. One of my favorite seasonal products from Trader Joe’s (long since discontinued) was their canned sweet potato puree, so I’m always up for trying a sweet potato dessert.
The pie is prebaked and really only needs to be heated through before serving. The baking time on the box was pretty accurate, though my pie was very slightly defrosted as I put it in the oven right after driving it home from the store (so, 20 minutes or so out of the freezer). The pie features a well-baked pastry crust, a sweet potato filling where small chunks of potato are still visible, and an oat-based streusel topping for crunch. Unfortunately, this pie didn’t quite live up to my expectations. While the crust was perfectly baked (a rarity for a frozen pie) and the filling was surprisingly light, I didn’t really care for the chunks of sweet potato that kept it from being as smooth as possible. The filling did have a nice sweet potato flavor, but I got a lot more maple and nutmeg than bourbon. The pie was described as having only “a touch of” maple and bourbon, so this wasn’t as much of a problem for me as the topping. The pie is not particularly sweet and that is fine in and of itself, but the topping is not very sweet, either. It felt a little more like granola than the streusel that it appeared to be and, as a result, added crunch without adding much in the way of flavor. I would have liked a sweeter, spicier topping to add some additional depth of flavor to the pie.
This isn’t a bad pie and it certainly is an easy, seasonal dessert option, but if you have a little bit of a sweet tooth, consider serving the pie with a scoop of ice cream on the side to sweeten it up. And if you feel like making a similar pie from scratch, give my Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel a try, instead!