Published November 1, 2002.
Bake, boil, or steam? None of these methods is the right one for the best texture and flavor.
For the holidays, mashed sweet potatoes are often overdressed in a Willie Wonka-style casserole topped with marshmallows and whipped cream. But this candied concoction doesn't hold a candle to an honest sweet potato mash in terms of flavor. As for texture, mashed sweet potatoes often turn out overly thick and gluey or, to the other extreme, sloppy and loose.
We wanted a recipe that would push the deep, earthy sweetness to the fore and that would produce a silky puree with enough body to hold its shape while sitting on a fork.
Braise the sweet potatoes in a mixture of butter and heavy cream. Add salt to bring out the sweet potato's delicate flavor and just a teaspoon of sugar to bolster its sweetness. When the potatoes are tender, mash them in the saucepan with a potato masher.list of recipes