Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Pecans

While I was hunting for a sweeter version of sweet potatoes to serve alongside my Roasted Sweet Potato Salad, I happened upon this recipe on the Epicurious website. It was simple and light, and had a nice combination of sweet and savory. Plus it had a nice textural contrast between the whipped potatoes and the crunchy baked topping. It was a big hit with my "Second Thanksgiving Feast" guests and is going in the permanent recipe box. I made a small modification from the original recipe, cutting down the brown sugar in the topping. I also made sure to use pure vanilla extract that had been made with distilled alcohol, to keep the recipe gluten-free for some of my guests.

- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

- 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt

- Preheat oven to 350 deg. 
- Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. 
- Use either butter or a non-stick spray to prep a  13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
- Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain.
- Let them cool for a bit. 
- Purée sweet potatoes in processor. 
     - This is where I had to go through a few steps. It will most likely depend on what kind of equipment you have. I have a Cuisinart 6 cup food processor. After using the food processor, my potatoes looked like this:

They were still pretty grainy and lumpy. Next, I tried an immersion blender wand to whip them up, but they were too thick for that. Finally, I just stuck them in the blender. That did the trick. They came out smooth and fluffy like this: 

- Once you have settled on a method of whipping your potatoes into submission, beat the eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in the sweet potatoes. 
- Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. 

- Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.

- Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.

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