Friday, December 21, 2007

Apple-Sweet Potato Casserole

We're having two of our best friends over for a pre-Christmas dinner this evening -- something we do with these friends every year. A pork loin roast is headlining the menu, and I have just taken the apple-sweet potato casserole out of the oven. It smells heavenly.

The recipe? It's quite simple.

4 medium to large-sized sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons of butter
1-1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of allspice
granulated sugar (to your taste)
1 tablespoon of apple-jack brandy or calvados
2 eggs
Optional: chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into chunks and then bring them to boil in a pot of water. Reduce to a simmer and continue until the potatoes are cooked through.

Drain the sweet potatoes and set aside. Place the butter, cut up into a few pieces, in the bottom of a stainless steel bowl. Pour the sweet potatoes on top and begin mixing with a hand beater (a large mixer can also be used) until the butter is incorporated into the sweet potatoes.

Now add the applesauce and continue beating until the apple-sweet potato mixture is smooth. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, beating the mixture to incorporate the spices. Add the sugar, starting with a 1/2 cup and then tasting before adding more until you get it right. (Why don't I specify an amount of granulated sugar to add? Because sweet potatoes and applesauce can vary widely in their sweetness.)

Now add the apple brandy and mix it into the apple-sweet potato mixture. Then beat two eggs into the same mixture until well incorporated -- at least one full minute. Pour the apple-sweet potato mixture into an ungreased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Optional: sprinkle chopped walnuts or pecans on top. Allow it to cool a little, then serve.

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