Diva Patti LaBelle is also a pretty great cook.
And her recently debuted sweet potato pies, sold by Walmart, have become a sensation. So much so that shelves are bare. INSIDE EDITION couldn't find a single pie at a Walmart in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Or in Los Angeles.
The rush for pies is credited to a video made by a fan who sings long and loud after each bite of pie, followed by series of deeply felt "mmmmms."
After the video by James Wright went viral, LaBelle called him to say thanks.
On eBay, two pies are going for $40. Their retail price is $3.48.
Can't Get Your Hands on One of Patti LaBelle's Pies? Make Your Own With Her Recipe
You’ll need a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Serves 8
For the crust
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
For the filling
3 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds), scrubbed
7 tablespoons (most of 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the crust:
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the shortening. Use a fork to mix it until it resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-size bits.
While stirring, gradually add enough of the water until the mixture clumps together. Press the dough into a thick disk and refrigerate for an hour.
Place the chilled dough on a lightly-floured surface and roll out until it's 13 inches across and transfer it to a pie plate. Trim the dough to leave a 1-inch overhang and flute the edge.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you start the filling.
For the filling:
Boil the sweet potatoes (with their skins on) in salted water and cook until tender. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Discard the skins and put the sweet potatoes in a bowl. Use an electric mixer until they are creamy.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Brush melted butter inside the pie shell and sprinkle the brown sugar. Par-bake for about 15 minutes.
Add the other filling ingredients to 3 cups of the sweet potatoes and pour into the cool, half-baked shell.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a knife comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Edited from "LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About," by Patti LaBelle (Clarkson Potter, 1999).