I have this thing with sweet potatoes. I am OBSESSED with them. But not on Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why. Sweet Potato dishes are usually the first thing I’ll pass. Maybe it’s the marshmallows. Or the other overly sweet accoutrements that normally accompany the spud. Whatever the reason, sweet potatoes don’t top my list of Thanksgiving faves.
Yet still when I was creating my Thanksgiving day menu I did not want to skip the dish. I found a few decent looking recipes to try, and my dad chose this one that I found in Food Network Magazine. I thought it was an excellent pick at first glance because it contained bacon. Bacon makes any dish better. But I was worried that the maple syrup would make the dish overly sweet.
On Thanksgiving day, I decided to make this dish in the morning, and then reheat while the turkey was resting. It’s a good thing I started this dish early because I found I only had one tablespoon of maple syrup in my refrigerator. Enter my dad who saved the day. He first walked to several area stores looking for maple syrup. He came back with pancake syrup, which I had to decline. Then he offered to bike to the nearby Von’s where he found some expensive-looking maple syrup that hails from Wisconsin. Thanks to him I was able to make the recipe as it should be.
I tasted these spuds hours before I served them on the Thanksgiving day table and knew they were going to be a hit. I didn’t even mind the sweetness. I’m not sure what it is about them that makes them stand apart but I was more than pleasantly surprised by this recipe. I would serve it in years to come knowing it would impress and please Thanksgiving day diners. My dad’s not overly fond of sweet potatoes in general and he really loved the dish as well.
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes (4 to 5 medium)
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 T. apple cider
- ½ c. heavy cream, warmed
- 6 T. salted butter
- 3 T. maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake until completely soft, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl and set aside. Discard the skins.
- Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until crisp, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the cider to the drippings in the saucepan and cook until mostly evaporated, about 30 seconds.
- While the bacon is cooking, heat the heavy cream and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is melted/the mixture is warm.
- Add the potatoes, heavy cream/butter, maple syrup and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; mash with a potato masher until smooth and warmed through.
- Transfer the potatoes to a bowl; top with the bacon and drizzle with more maple syrup before serving.