Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
A gift from the early colonists from Native American cooks was the boiled down sap of the rock maple or sugar maple. Though maple syrup is produced widely in the eastern U.S., as well as the Midwest, we primarily associate maple syrup with New England. This recipe could not be easier or more delightful to prepare, using my favorite ingredient- sweet potatoes.
5lbs dark orange fleshed sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 yellow onion, diced
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup, good quality
2/3-3/4 cup milk, warmed
½ cup pecans, toasted, rough chop
kosher or sea salt to taste
Preheat oven 350F. Pierce each potato several times with fork and place in a baking pan. Bake potatoes until tender when squeezed or pierced, approximately 1 ½ hours. Set potatoes aside until cook enough to handle.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion in with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sautee until onion is translucent, don’t brown or overcook. Combine the butter and maple syrup. Stir to melt the butter and bring to a boil. Set aside and keep warm.
Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl, discard skins. Use a potato masher, ricer or food mill to mash the potatoes. Stir the butter mixture into the potatoes. Add the milk and blend well. Season to taste with salt. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Alternatively, make ahead one day in advance by covering and refrigerating after cooking. Bring to room temperature 2 hours before serving and reheat on stovetop.