Wow. So, so, so delicious. I realize I am tooting my own horn here, but really, this dish is a winner. The sweet potatoes are smooth and light thanks to being passed through a potato ricer, the browned butter gives it a wonderful, rich nuttiness, and the crisped brown sugar on top elevates it to a dessert-like decadence. This is a rich one, so you don’t need a large amount to serve a crowd, just a few spoonfuls per person will do. Serves 8, 1/4 C. servings.
- 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes I used orange, but yellow would work well too. Orange sweet potatoes are often labeled as yams in the supermarket. True yams come from Africa and are rarely sold in stores here (more than you wanted to know about yams).
- 5 T. butter
- 1/2 C. heavy cream
- salt to taste
- 2 T. brown sugar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until tender. Allow them to cool and then peel and slice them. You can roast them a day or two before you want to serve this dish to save time.
Heat the butter, sliced into pieces, in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, watch it carefully, swirling the pan occasionally to prevent scorching. Wait for the butter to darken to an amber color and pour immediately into a separate bowl to stop the cooking. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pass the roasted sweet potatoes through a potato ricer or a food mill into the saucepan. Cooking out the moisture is what will keep the potatoes from becoming gummy or gluey. Pass some of the potatoes through the ricer, stir, pass some more through, stir, until all the potatoes are in the saucepan. Stir and cook for a minute or so, until the potatoes start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the browned butter and the cream. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste. Scrape the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. At this point the dish can be covered and chilled until ready to broil and serve, up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, bring the dish to room temperature, place the uncovered dish under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes. Watch it carefully for burning. You want the sugar to melt, caramelize, and crisp up like the top of a creme brulee. Serve right away.