My mother (her grandmotherly nickname is LouLou) started making candied sweet potatoes from Joy of Cooking thirty years ago. Everyone liked them but at some point I became in charge of the sweet potatoes, and like every recipe I meet I started to make changes to it. These are sweet but not too sweet. Now LouLou asks me to make the sweet potatoes every year. It would not be Thanksgiving in our family without these. This recipe could easily be made vegan by substituting a little oil or margarine for the butter. —Sadassa_Ulna
12 or more
sweet potatoes (or yams) approx. 8-10
grated zest from half lemon
grated fresh ginger from 1"x2"x3" piece, or more!
salt, approx. 1/4 tsp. or to taste
butter, + more for buttering dish
chopped fresh cilantro, optional
In This Recipe
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half cross-wise. If you have very large yams cut them into thirds cross-wise.
Add sweet potatoes to the pot. When water returns to boil lower heat to medium high and continue cooking for twenty minutes. Strain in large colander.
In a large lidded jar or medium bowl mix all ingredients except the butter together.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a large baking dish. Cut sweet potato pieces in half again, this time length-wise. Place sweet potato chunks into the baking dish. Pour the ginger mixture over the chunks.
Cut butter into tiny chunks and scatter on top of sweet potatoes. Cover with a loose lid or a piece of buttered foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Remove lid or foil and give the chunks a little basting and turning over. Bake another 10 -15 minutes or until browned and delicious-looking. The quartered sweet potatoes will now have reduced in size and they will break apart easily to pile into nice little serving mounds. Heaven!
I always make these the night before Thanksgiving; I think they taste even better reheated. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro just before serving if desired.
Growing up I was the world's pickiest eater, that is, until my children were born. Karma. Neither of my parents were much into cooking; it was the height of eating fat-free or anything with oat bran added. I taught myself some basics, mostly baking, following the guidelines of a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking. I was a ballet dancer and a teacher suggested I lose weight. As I began reading about diet and nutrition I became interested in natural foods, which led to a job at a macrobiotic natural foods market in Center City Philadelphia; this was way before Whole Foods came to the area. I learned a lot about food in general. I ate strictly vegan for a while, although I don't now, but I still like it when a recipe can taste great without butter or bacon! In short, my approach to cooking is idiosyncratic, and I don't know very much about cooking meat or proper technique. I love to bake and I am still working on expanding my palate and my repertoire. The hardest part is getting the whole family to try new things!
So aside from my food status, I am an architect who likes to garden and play music. I'm married with two kids, and I hope to get a dog someday.