Here’s a Thanksgiving gift for y’all from the Queen of White Trash Cajun herself: it’s Sarah Savoy’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake!

For the crust:

  • 200g (2 cups) Speculoos or graham crackers
  • 90g butter, melted

Put the crackers in a food processor and blitz until you have crumbs. Stir in the butter, and press this mix into the bottom of a 23cm springform pan. Put it in the fridge to chill.

 For the cheesecake:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 900g cream cheese, softened
  • 335g (1½ cups) sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 120ml (½ cup) crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Put the sweet potatoes on a baking tray, and bake for 45-60 minutes until very tender and soft. Peel the sweet potatoes and mash thoroughly.

Increase the oven temperature to 230°C (450°F).

Beat the cream cheese until soft with a hand mixer (ouch) or a stand mixer. Add the sugar and salt and mix well, then stir in the eggs one by one. Add the crème fraîche (or sour cream), flour, vanilla seeds, spices and mashed sweet potato and mix until just combined (don’t overmix or you’ll have a sloppy, gloppy mess).

Pour the batter over a wooden spoon over the crumb crust (so as not to disturb the crumbs), and put the cheesecake in the oven. You might want to put it on a foil-lined baking sheet just in case. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 120°C (250°F) and cook for an hour more.

Now for the most important part. Turn off the oven but do NOT open it. Leave the cake in the oven for 2 hours and put a note on the oven warning people not to open it.

Once the 2 hours are up, chill the cake in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Check out more of Sarah’s recipes in The Savoy Kitchen – A Family History of Cajun Food.

baked sweet potatoes