The best way to make Mashed Sweet Potatoes! Whole sweet potatoes are baked in foil then skins are removed and potatoes are mashed with plenty of browned butter and a hint of maple syrup. You'll only need 4 ingredients for this perfect fall and winter side dish! Makes about 5 1/2 cups.
Ready in: 1hour45minutes
4lbs.sweet potatoes(about 5 large or 4 extra large)*, such as red garnet, beauregard or jewel (not white or purple varieties)
8Tbspsalted butter,diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, plus more for serving if desired
1Tbspreal maple syrup,then more to taste for a sweeter option
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes once on both sides with a fork. Wrap each sweet potato with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 40 minutes*. Turn to opposite side and continue to bake until a knife easily glides through potatoes, about 30 - 50 minutes longer.
Near the end of potatoes baking, place butter in a light colored medium skillet or saucepan. Heat over medium heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally until butter has browned (brown flecks should just start to bubble up into foam if using a saucepan it's harder to tell). Pour into a dish so it doesn't continue to cook and burn.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle or using oven mitts, peel potatoes or scoop flesh from peels into a large bowl.
Mash with a potato masher. Texture will be chunky.
Add browned butter and maple syrup. Using an electric hand mixer blend on low speed until combined, season with salt and pepper to taste. Increase mixer speed and whip until smoother and creamy.
Serve warm topped with more browned butter if desired.
*Small or medium sweet potatoes will work great too just reduce baking time. Small sweet potatoes only take about 40 minutes, medium about 50. While the large and extra large used here cake take upward of 70 - 90 minutes. If using small or medium no need to turn halfway through. It's just so potatoes don't get excessively brown on one side.POSSIBLE VARIATIONS:
Return mashed potatoes to skins (leave 1/4-inch flesh intact with the peel) top with mini marshmallows, set on baking sheet and broil just briefly to toast and soften marshmallows.
Add herbs such as fresh rosemary and thyme (just 1 tsp of each).
Finish with cooked crumbled bacon.
Omit maple syrup, add finely shredded parmesan cheese (start with 1/3 cup) and 1 - 2 cloves sauteed garlic .
Season with a spice blend such as curry powder or graham masala.
Add autumn spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Mix in 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Add a citrus zest like lemon or orange.
Garnish with toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts for some textural contrast.
Flavor with honey (instead of maple), a little lime juice and zest, and add a few chipotle chiles or some cayenne pepper, for this option cut butter in half.