One of my favourite things about food is the seemingly magical way in which certain ingredients interact. These Whipped Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes are one of the ultimate examples of that! Sweet potatoes on their own are pretty magical, it has to be said, with their rounded taste and velvety texture.
But when you enhance their earthy sweetness with smoky maple, and then add some nutty crunch from pecans? It’s bonkers. A little slip of butter helps to keep the texture delightful, and then it all gets balanced out with a sprinkle of salt, a grind of pepper and the tiniest pinch of cinnamon.
Truly greater than the sum of it’s parts, this recipe is what every plate of tender turkey and savoury gravy needs. It provides sweetness and texture and ballast and comfort – just about everything you could want to be thankful for.
In many ways, these sweet potatoes, with their hint of spice and ample sweetness, provide the same counterpoint that cranberry sauce does on the holiday plate. But instead of providing sweetness with sharp tang, they provide it with warmth and roundness. If I’m coming off a little gushy here, it’s because I want you to look past the ridiculous simplicity of this recipe (it really is so easy) and understand the simple magic at play here. Kitchen alchemy at it’s finest – I hope you try these!
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 tbsp butter
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2-4 tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of cinnamon
- You can either wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake for about an hour in a 180C/350F oven, or until they're completely tender (this might take more or less time, depending on their size) or peel and slice them into chunks and boil or steam until tender - whatever makes it easier for you on the day.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, toast the pecans in a dry frying pan, until they begin to smell toasty and nutty, and are slightly darker in colour. Set aside to cool, and then chop.
- However you cooked the sweet potatoes, place into a large bowl or saucepan while they're hot (peel them first if you roasted them), and mash with the butter, salt and pepper, until completely smooth.
- Add 2 tbsp of maple syrup, and the cinnamon (only a tiny pinch) and beat again , whipping the sweet potatoes. Taste, and add more maple if you like - it should be subtle.
- Stir through half the chopped toasted pecans, and then place into a serving dish. At this point, you can refrigerate these and then reheat them in the oven for half an hour at 180C to serve.
- Either way, when you serve, scatter over the remaining pecans. Delish!