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Author Notes: Candied sweet potatoes, a fall harvest classic, take on an entirely new character when the “candy” comes from glazed, spiced praline pecans in this family recipe. —The Weiser Kitchen
- 2 pounds (4 to 6) sweet potatoes, washed, skin on
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) large pecan halves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup cane syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 scrapes nutmeg (see note below)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons toasted nut oil, such as walnut or pistachio, divided
- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork 4 or 5 times each. Microwave at high power for 10 to 15 minutes, until partially cooked (slightly softened but not cooked through). The time will depend on the size of the potatoes; check them often by squeezing them slightly during the cooking. Remove them from the microwave individually as they are done and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the pecans, brown sugar, cane sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the nut oil in a large bowl and, with a rubber spatula, fold together until well mixed and the nuts are thoroughly coated with spices and oil.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium high-heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the nut mixture and cook, stirring frequently for 7 to 8 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in ½-inch rounds.
- Heat the oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat, until the oil shimmers and the butter has melted. Tilt the pan to coat, place the sweet potato rounds into it in a single layer, cook for 2½ to 3 minutes, and turn the rounds over. Continue to cook for 2½ to 3 minutes, until the potatoes are lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the glazed pecans.
- Note: Nutmeg is available ground, but if you buy the whole nutmeg, and grate it or scrape it with a sharp knife yourself, the flavor and fragrance will be much stronger. Look for it in specialty spice stores, good supermarket spice sections, or online.