Ellin Beltz/Wikimedia Commons
Fall is a good season to make and serve an old-fashioned sweet potato pie.
Years ago, I read somewhere that in the USA, the orange-fleshed tubers we see labeled as yams are not true yams, but a variety of sweet potato.
That’s fine; I don’t care what they are called as long as I can always get them when I want.
As a diabetic, I was thrilled to learn that the sweet potato was not on the no-no list of foods to avoid. I do not smother them with brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and marshmallows, but I used to. I am happy enough to just bake them and put a little bit of butter and salt on them.
If you like sweet potatoes as much as I do (even when they are candied), it is my hope that you find at least one recipe here you’d like to try. Go ahead and test them out before Thanksgiving.
Oh, and speaking of holidays, Happy Halloween to all of you who celebrate it.
Sweet and spicy roasted sweet potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat sweet potatoes evenly. Spread sweet potatoes out on a large baking sheet.
3. Bake 15 minutes. Stir and bake another 15 to 20 minutes.
Sweet potato bars
I wish I could eat the marshmallow topping but for now, I must leave it out.
2 sleeves graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups pureed sweet potato (from cooked and peeled ones)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1. To make crust: Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, sugar and salt until the mixture turns into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until the crumbs have a texture similar to wet sand. Press into pan and bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.
2. To make filling: In large mixing bowl, combine all filling ingredients until they are well mixed.
3. Pour filling into the crust and bake until the mixture is set and no longer jiggles in the middle, about 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
4. Heat broiler, add enough mini marshmallows to evenly cover the top of the sweet potato mixture, then broil 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the marshmallows do not burn; they should be golden and toasted. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Makes 16 small pieces or 8 or 9 larger ones, depending on how you decide to slice them.
Sweet potato rolls
1 package (0.25-oz.) active dry yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees, or go by what your yeast package suggests)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1. Dissolve yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining sugar, sweet potato, butter, salt and slightly beaten eggs. Stir to mix well. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 3 minutes, adding just enough of remaining flour to prevent sticking. Do not knead too heavily; when smooth, shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let raise about 1 hour or longer.
3. Punch down, and allow dough to rest for about 2 minutes. Divide into 16 to 20 balls, and place on a greased baking sheet or in a 9-by-13-inch pan. Allow to rise until doubled. Set oven heat to 375.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Sweet potato pie
Adapted from a recipe at Food Network.
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Maple whipped topping, recipe follows
1. Preheat oven to 350. Bake sweet potatoes in preheated oven, placed on a baking sheet, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl and mash. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together softened butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into sweet potatoes. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
4. Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Maple whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.