Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Fresh sweet potatoes baked in a cane syrup and brown sugar, bourbon glaze.
Fresh sweet potatoes baked in a cane syrup and brown sugar, bourbon glaze.

Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Here in The Deep South, we absolutely love our sweet potatoes. And we love our cane syrup. Oh yeah, and our bourbon. You'll find it expressed in an awful lot of recipes, especially around the holidays, so it's no surprise that we love our sweet potatoes glazed with a syrupy bourbon too. For us down along this way, that's most often made using Steen's pure cane syrup, a well loved and local favorite from Louisiana.

Of course, if you don't have access to Steen's you could certainly substitute another brand of cane syrup, pure maple syrup, sorghum syrup, or even some molasses, loosened with a bit of corn syrup.

Now. They say (whoever they are) that liquor cooks off during the cooking process, but I don't buy into it and never have, which is why I don't generally cook with added wine or liquor in my recipes, since we have a non-drinker in the household (though I'll use a little bit of vanilla extract). I think some of it does burn off, but not all of it, so all that to say... this might be a dish that you should reserve for the adults.

A couple other things to note here. Jim Bean, Maker's Mark and even Jack Daniels are all good choices for this recipe. Use what you have and like. As far as butter, goes you will notice that I mostly use unsalted butter in the recipes that I write. The primary reason for that is just simple control over salt in my recipes - one stick of salted butter can contain between 3/4 and 1 full teaspoon of salt per stick. I do, however, keep both types in my freezer and which I use depends on what I'm making.

For this recipe I used fresh, raw sweet potatoes and felt the salted butter more appropriate. If you use unsalted butter instead, you'll probably want to add salt sprinkled on the layers. Also, if you substitute canned sweet potatoes or canned yams for the fresh sweet potatoes, understand that those often are canned in heavy syrup, so you will want to taste and adjust for sweetness.

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Recipe: Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 pounds raw sweet potatoes, about 4
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold salted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup pure cane syrup (like Steen's)
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (about 5 passes on a microplane)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon

Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes, or just until fork tender but not mushy. Can be done in advance; can also boil whole until tender. Butter a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish; set aside. Once sweet potatoes are cooled, peel, cut into 1/2 inch rounds and layer into the casserole dish, sprinkling a few light pinches of salt in between the layers.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt half of the butter in a skillet, stirring in the cane syrup and half of the brown sugar until blended. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pecans. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Taste and adjust as needed.

Pour the butter and bourbon mixture on top of the sweet potatoes. Cut the remaining butter into thin slices and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar all over the top.

Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees F, basting a few times with a spoon or a baster, for about 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and thickened.

Note: I call for the regular salted butter in this recipe since I used fresh, raw sweet potatoes and feel the salted butter more appropriate. If you use unsalted butter, you'll probably want to use some additional salt sprinkled on the layers. Also, if you substitute canned sweet potatoes or canned yams for the fresh sweet potatoes, understand that those are very often already heavily sweetened, and you may want to adjust the brown sugar accordingly.

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Posted by on November 23, 2010

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