Candied Sweet Potatoes
This is my rustic take on an old favorite, perfect for any holiday table. Wash the sweet potatoes well and leave the skins on to add both texture and color (and to save time!). Roasting the potatoes first adds a rich flavor to the dish, with the added bonus that you can roast the potatoes a day ahead and then slice them when you are ready to assemble the casserole. I like to make this with butter, but it's equally delicious with olive oil if you're looking to reduce the amount of fat or make a vegan-friendly dish for guests.
4 pounds sweet potatoes, washed with skins on
½ cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick
1¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Roast sweet potatoes on parchment covered sheet pan until just tender, about 40 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool, then peel and slice them ¼” thick. Layer the potatoes into a 9x13” casserole dish.
Place water, lemon juice and sugars into a saucepan and bring to a boil until sugars are dissolved. Add the spices, pepper and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Pour mixture over the sweet potatoes to generously coat all the potatoes. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for about 35 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Baste several times to coat. Remove from heat and baste again before serving.