Heirloom Thanksgiving sweet potatoes I’ve made nearly every year of my life.
For me, these Double Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple are beyond “tried and true.” They are foundational. It’s not Thanksgiving at my house without them and I’ll be sharing other parts of my annual holiday dinner for the next three weeks.
Originally, the Double Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple were my Mom’s recipe. Growing up in California, pineapple was a common ingredient as were the marshmallows she always baked on top. Once I was out on my own, I lost the marshmallows though I kept the eggs, the large helping of butter, sugar and the cream. Over time, I realized the eggs and cream weren’t necessary. I cut down the butter. About ten years ago, the white sugar was replaced by dark brown.
This year, I’ve replaced the brown sugar with maple syrup, which I think lets the basic sweet potato flavor shine through. I still use a little sweet butter. I love butter. Everything is here, ready in the food processor.
Making these sweet potatoes has never been easier. There aren’t many ingredients. No complicated cooking. They can be completely assembled and kept refrigerated for three days. They reheat quickly and can be kept hot for a buffet if necessary. I’ve doubled and tripled the recipe — no worries. Just adjust the seasoning.
(Photos and styling: Lisa Deyo)
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Double-Baked Pineapple Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes - When buying sweet potatoes look for firm tubers with no dark soft areas. I try to buy all the same size so they cook evenly. Skin color varies according to variety from rose to copper. They are sometimes labeled as yams.
Maple Syrup - Our neighbors make quarts of syrup every winter and we were fortunate to be given some. It is so delicious! Please be sure the maple syrup used is natural, not artificially flavored “pancake syrup.”
Buying Ahead - Sweet potatoes have relatively long storage. They can be purchased up to two weeks in advance and kept in a basket in a cool, dry pantry.
Cooking Ahead - Don’t worry. This recipe that can be made on Monday for Thursday and kept refrigerated. No need to freeze. It also keeps well after the holiday — provided it lasts.
Boiling Potatoes - Years ago, this recipe called for placing the sweet potatoes in a 6-quart soup kettle, covering them completely with water, bringing them to a boil and then boiling for about 40 minutes, or until tender. I felt this resulted in some flavor loss but it’s an alternative.
Steaming Potatoes - Another way to cook sweet potatoes is by steaming them whole, in their jackets until tender. That can take 40 to 60 minutes depending on size and the type of steamer used. Less flavor loss than boiling but more clean up than baking.
Brown sugar - Can substitute 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar for maple syrup.
Canned pineapple - Can substitute about 1-1/4 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple for canned but it’s hardly worth the work to do so.
Mixer vs Food Processor - The potatoes should be soft enough to mash easily with an electric mixer.
- 2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, well drained
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place in a baking dish. Bake one hour. Then remove the largest sweet potato, carefully unwrap ti check for doneness by piercing with a knife. Largest sweet potato should be completely soft and the knife should meet no resistance. If not soft, rewrap and bake about 20 to 30 minutes longer until tender. When done, set aside in foil until cool enough to handle. Cooked sweet potatoes can be prepared or refrigerated overnight in the foil.
- Fit a food processor with the metal blade. Unwrap potatoes and discard the foil. Peel and discard peels. Cut the sweet potato flesh into 1-inch chunks and place in the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the maple syrup, butter, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Taste sweet potatoes by heating a tablespoon or two. If needed, add 2 more tablespoons of maple syrup to taste. Drain pineapple pressing well to extract all the juice. Set juice aside for another use. Stir the crushed pineapple thoroughly into the sweet potatoes (can pulse in using the food processor but do not let the machine run). Adjust seasoning while warm. (Can cool, cover tightly and refrigerate up to 3 days.)
- At least 4 to 6 hours or before serving, bring sweet potatoes to room temperature. Transfer them to a 2-1/2 to 3 quart ovenproof serving dish and make a design on top with a spatula.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center is withdrawn very hot.
Double-Baked Pineapple Sweet Potatoes
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
|Amount Per Serving:|
|Calories||317 to 238|
|% Daily Value*|
|Vitamin A||Vitamin C|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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