My mom, Michele Ellingsen, won the grand prize in a cooking contest judged by Pierre Franey for this, her adaption of a family recipe. It is best to let the pies sit for a day or two in the refrigerator before serving - they get even better if you can wait that long!

pie filling for two pies:
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup melted butter
4 well-beaten eggs
1/2 tsp. ginger or nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. bourbon

pecan topping for two pies:
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups coursely chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil potatoes until tender. Peel, then put through ricer into a large bowl. Add other filling ingredients and mix together until well blended. Pour into partially baked pie shells. Wrap edges of crusts so they do not burn. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until firm around edges.

Remove pies from oven. Mix topping ingredients till well blended and crumble over pies. Bake the pies an additional 20-25 minutes, or until firm. Brown crust for last 15 minutes of that time.

It is best when refrigerated and served a day or two later. It is also nice to top each piece with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.