Holiday Spiced Sweet Potatoes (Yams)

Mashed sweet potatoes or garnet yams can always be found on our holiday or Thanksgiving table. Most often we make a double or triple recipe because everyone wants the leftovers! Usually we just bake them, scrape out the insides, and mash with some butter and brown sugar.

Here’s the thing with sweet potatoes, they pair beautifully with oranges and holiday spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. My father first came upon this idea in an old issue of Bon Appetit. The recipe includes grated orange peel, lemon juice, and the spices you would normally find in hot mulled cider.

The spices give the yams a wonderfully festive holiday accent.

  • Prep: 2 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

You can easily make this recipe a day or two ahead and reheat right before serving.

If you don't have a fresh orange for the rind, you can stir in a little orange juice instead.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (about 6 medium sized) red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork (this is to help release pressure as the potato cooks). Put the potatoes in a roasting pan or thick, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the sweet potatoes are completely tender, about 50 minutes to an hour or more. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to touch.

2 Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise and scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, orange peel, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Use an electric mixer (or by hand with strong arms) to beat until the sweet potatoes are completely smooth.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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