Candied Sweet Potatoes

January 9, 2007 at 7:14 pm (B_minus (2 stars, okay), Peter Berley, Quick weeknight recipe, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes)


This recipe is from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley. It’s supposed to be a traditional Thanksgiving recipe, except for the addition of ginger. For a more up-to-date post see this one.

  • 2 pounds garnet yams or other sweet potatoes
  • 3 (2-inch) strips orange zest, white spongy pith removed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. pure olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. peeled and finely chopped gingerroot
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel and halve the yams crosswise. cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Place the yams in a baking dish that will hold them in a snug single layer. Tuck the orange zest and cinnamon sticks among the yams.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, ginger, and salt. (Note, if you’re using butter, omit it in this step, but dot the assembled casserole with small pieces of it before it goes into the oven.) Pour the mixture over the yams.
  4. Bake for 1 1/4 hours, basting every15 minutes, until the yams are tender and glazed and the pan juices are syrupy.
  5. Remove the orange zest and cinnamon sticks before servings.

Yields 4 servings.
My Notes:

I tried slicing off orange zest but got tons of pith, so I ended up just using my zester to zest the whole orange right into the pan. The cinnamon sticks added almost no flavor I thought. If you want cinnamon flavor I think it would be more effective to add ground cinnamon. I didn’t want to waste my fresh orange so I ate it and used organic frozen concentrate instead. I used the butter not the oil.

I think if I make this again I might try leaving the peels ons the sweet potatoes. I bet in the glaze they’d get nice and soft.

I didn’t have a baster, so I flipped them after 30 minutes and mixed the glaze around. After 45 minutes though the glaze was starting to solidify and after 50 minutes it was starting to burn. I removed it from the oven. The sweet potatoes were cooked but not quite meltingly soft. I think if you don’t have a baster (or maybe even if you do), it would be better to cover the sweet potatoes for the first half an hour or 45 minutes.

When I first tasted these right out of the oven I liked the seasoning but thought it was way too sparse. The potatoes are cut quite thickly, and there’s not enough “candy” for all that potato. Plus, even though it’s a lighter recipe than many recipes, it’s still not low calorie (about 300 calories for 1/4 of the dish). It works as a side or a dessert but not a main course. I put it in the fridge and have been eating a few pieces a day as a late afternoon treat, and they’re growing on me. Maybe it’s just that these later pieces have been sitting around in the tupperware absorbing the sauce longer, or maybe they just got more of the sauce than their fare share, but they taste more candied. They’re still pretty high calorie for a “vegetable dish”, and I’d still like more of that yummy sauce, but they’re pretty good anyhow. I like the ginger/orange flavor.

When all the sweet potatoes were gone I added the leftover orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and ginger goo to my chai tea. Yowza! That was some yummy chai. Then I left the cinnamon sticks in the tea overnight, and when I got in in the morning it tasted just exactly like Good Earth tea.

1 Comment

  1. Orange-ginger sweet potatoes « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] just noticed that I had blogged this recipe previously.  Here’s the original post. Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTwitterMoreStumbleUponRedditDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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