This time of year sends me into nesting mode. I want to stay at home, make everything cozy, and cook, and the foods of fall seem to go seamlessly with my desire to be in the kitchen. Even though it may seem a little silly, going to the farmers market becomes something even more special as you search for perfect bouquets of winter greens, freshly dug sweet potatoes, and colorful winter squash. Our bodies begin craving heartier fare like these Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Honey Butter Glaze.
This layered dish is full of fall flavor and would make a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table, although it is perfect any other day also. It does take a little prep initially since you need to bake the sweet potatoes until they are almost tender, but after that, it goes together in a snap. The sweet potatoes can also be baked a day or two ahead to make prep quicker on the day you want to serve this.
The combination of creamy sweet potatoes, tender apples, crunchy nuts, and caramelized glaze is balanced perfectly by the addition of a little lemon juice and is a nice alternative to more traditional sweet potato dishes. So, if you are testing recipes for the big Thanksgiving meal or just want something a little different for a cozy family dinner, this dish may just fit the bill.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples with Honey Butter Glaze- serves 6
adapted from Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook
This dish can easily be doubled to feed twelve.
3 medium sweet potatoes (2.5 pounds)
2 large Honeycrisp apples (or other apples that will hold shape when baked)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce each with a fork or sharp knife. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour until almost tender. Remove from the oven and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin from the potatoes. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and then into 1/3 inch thick semi-circle slices. Set aside. (This step can be performed up to two days ahead).
Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. Core the apples and cut in half. Cut the apples in semi-circle slices. Toss the apple slices in the lemon juice to prevent browning.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, honey, spices, and salt until combined. Set aside.
Spray an 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place the sweet potatoes and apples with rounded sides up alternately in the baking dish. Pour the lemon juice from the apple bowl over everything in the dish. Spoon the honey butter mixture over the potatoes and apples. Bake 30 minutes.
Remove dish from the oven. Baste with the honey butter from the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with pecans, and continue baking 15 minutes more until everything is tender and the nuts are toasted and brown. Baste with the glaze just before serving.