I grew up in a busy family, where the traditional starch component served for dinner was often oven-baked potatoes or oven-baked sweet potatoes. They were cooked individually, either directly on the oven rack or on a sheet tray, with a thick metal skewer stuck through them to encourage more even heating in the potatoes’ center. We were strongly encouraged to eat the skins. The skins are discarded in this recipe.
This recipe transforms those traditional, oven-baked sweet potatoes by adding brown sugar, some traditional baking spices like ground cinnamon and cloves, and a heap of salted butter and heavy cream. The resulting sweet potato puree could easily be found as a winter dish component served up on a plate at a wonderful restaurant.
The recipe below is intended for roughly six portions, with a bit of sweet potato puree leftover for the following nights.
Sweet Potato Puree
- 5 large sweet potatoes, (washed under colder water, cut in half, skins left intact)
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seed oil, (or vegetable oil)
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 12 Tbsp (1.5 sticks) salted butter, (softened)
- Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper, (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Prepare a sheet tray with parchment paper.
- After cleaning and drying the whole sweet potatoes, cut them in half, with their skins still on.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the halved sweet potatoes with the sunflower seed oil and the kosher salt, until the exterior of the potatoes are lightly coated in oil and salt.
- Place halved, oiled, and salted sweet potatoes on the sheet tray.
- Bake at 375F until the sweet potatoes are completely tender and soft in the center.
- When the potatoes are completely cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes while you prepare the spiced heavy cream & brown sugar mixture.
- In a small bowl on the stove, warm the heavy cream, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, cooking over medium-low heat until the brown sugar has dissolved and the heavy cream & brown sugar mixture is warm.
- Remove from the heat.
- Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and place the sweet potato flesh in a large bowl, discarding the skins.
- *You can fry the sweet potato skins if you like.
- Add the warmed, spiced heavy cream & brown sugar mixture to the potatoes, in addition to the softened salted butter.
- Mash the contents with a fork until evenly combined.
- *If you want a smoother puree, pass the sweet potato puree mixture through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
- Taste, and season with kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper.
- Serve hot.