Sweet Potatoes with Cider and Brown Sugar
- SERVINGS: 8
This dish was inspired by a surviving Jeffersonian menu. Since the recipe does not use a lot of sugar, the tartness of the cider comes through. (Natural cider, by the way, fresh and unfiltered, is preferable to pasteurized cider or apple juice.)
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
- In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the potatoes, cider, brown sugar, 6 tablespoons of the butter and the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, remove the cinnamon stick and pass the potatoes through the medium disk of a food mill or puree in batches in a food processor. Transfer to an ovenproof serving dish.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Dot the potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cover with foil and bake, stirring once or twice, for about 20 minutes, until steaming. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes longer.
Make Ahead The potatoes can be prepared through Step Two up to 4 days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before proceeding.