Update 11/14. I made these at CSC last night and we decided that letting the sweet potatoes really shine is the way to go. The way to do this is to keep the spices and sweetener out of the mash and either omit entirely or use as a topping.
(Once you get these tubers roasted you’ll want to eat them straight off the pan, which is not a bad idea. Melissa Clark from the New York Times tops hers with horseradish compound butter, which looks pretty tasty! Just remember that sweet potatoes can play all year long, not just at Thanksgiving. Try one with a scoop of black bean chili!)
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:
- Need to double the recipe? No problem. Just make sure you have a big enough dish for baking and serving. (For double, you’ll need a 3 – 4 quart capacity.)
- Roast the yams in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to proceed with mashing. I usually put the yams in the oven when I’m baking something else, maybe a night or two before I want to make this dish.
- You can prep this dish an day in advance, just stop short of decorating with the pecans. Cover and store (w/o baking first), in the fridge. The next day, bring to room temperature, decorate with pecans, then heat in 350 degree oven.
- More dessert-like version: Add to sweet potato mash: juice of 1 tangerine or ½ orange, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (or maple syrup or honey), ½ tsp. vanilla, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp. ground allspice, ⅛ tsp. ground cloves. Top and bake same as above.
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, about 6 medium
- 4 Tablespoons cream
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- additional butter for preparing the baking dish
- topping: 1/2 cup pecans (halves or pieces), 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon butter cut into small pieces
- Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice each sweet potato down the center, lengthwise. Smear a bit of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet pan and place the sweet potatoes cut-side down on the sheet pan. Roast 40 minutes, or until they give when you squeeze them. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Scrape the flesh from the sweet potato skins and put into a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add the cream, butter, and salt; process just until smooth.
- Spread into a buttered baking dish that holds about 6 cups. Top with pecans, maple syrup, and butter pieces, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 additional minutes, until potatoes are hot and pecans are crunchy.