I wanted a wicked recipe of sweet potatoes to serve with turkey on Thanksgiving. We were already having mashed potatoes so I didn’t want another item with mushy texture. So many of the recipes for sweet potatoes require you to mash them, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Sweet potatoes can hold their shape beautifully, so why not take advantage of it?
I looked at a number of recipes for the mushy style dishes and got some ideas to develop my own recipe. I wanted something simple and not too sweet. The orange, nutmeg and ginger work together so well. I hope you enjoy!
Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup, Orange & Walnuts
3 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
~1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans if you wish)
Prepare the sweet potatoes first. These can be made ahead and refrigerated to minimize work just before supper.
- Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice them thickly, about 1/4 inch thick (so they stay together when cooked).
- Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil in a large pot of water. Once they’re boiling it should take around 10-12 minutes. Cook until tender but don’t let them get mushy.
- Once cooked, gently rinse them with cook water in a colander, or lay them on a cookie rack to air dry and cool. This approach helps to keep their shape.
- Spray the baking dish with Pam.
- Once cool and dry, layer the sweet potato slices flat in the dish you’re going to cook them in. I used a medium sized round pottery bowl. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until later.
- If you’re using pottery, remember to bring the dish out of the fridge to warm up to room temperature before putting it in the oven. You don’t want your beautiful pottery to crack!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Or, if the oven is already set for 325 or 375 because something else is cooking, this is ok too.
Prepare the sauce just before putting the sweet potatoes in the oven. Combine all remaining ingredients except nuts in a pot so that the butter melts and everything can be mixed together well. Pour over the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts to your liking.
Cover the dish and put in the oven for 30-60 mins, depending on the temperature of your oven.
I think the important thing to remember about this dish, is that you want it to be easy. If you’re cooking other things in your oven (e.g. like a turkey at 325F), just adjust the length of time the dish needs to be in the oven. The sweet potatoes are already cooked, so they just need to be heated to the point that the sauce gets all bubbly and delicious.
When I made these I was cooking a turkey at 325F. I think I had these in the oven for almost 1.5 hours because the turkey needed more time.