Sweet potato dishes can be sweet, savory or a mix of both.
Here I aim for sweet, adding honey, cinnamon and apples. The key is to balance the tartness of the apple with the honey. A little butter doesn’t hurt, rounding out and softening the flavors. It’s an ideal accompaniment to braised beef, spicy grilled chicken or roast pork. And, it makes an ideal dish for a holiday table.
MASHED SWEET POTATOES WITH HONEY AND CARAMELIZED APPLES
MAKE AHEAD: The dish can be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated. To reheat, bake the foil-covered serving dish at 350 degrees until heated through.
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium potatoes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large Granny Smith apple (9 ounces), peeled, cored and cut into approximately 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
Place a large piece of aluminum foil directly on the middle rack of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork or skewer to prick the sweet potatoes on several sides. Transfer them to the aluminum foil and bake for 60 to 90 minutes, until juice is bubbling out of the sweet potatoes and they are soft to the touch. Let them cool for 15 minutes.
Heat the butter and oil in a medium nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple cubes and stir; cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until it starts to soften, tossing every couple of minutes. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the apple begins to brown. Remove from the heat.
Cut each sweet potato in half and scoop the insides into the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the honey and the caramelized apples, beating at low speed to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve warm.