Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Pecan Topping
These sweet potatoes cook in the slow cooker, leaving your stove and oven free for other dishes. The spicy pecan topping may be made while the potatoes cook, or up to 3 weeks ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 4pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1cup orange juice
- ⅓cup light brown sugar
- 5tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1(1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1teaspoon Crystallized Ginger (Dried) FSP
- ¼teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ¼teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1cup pecan halves
- 1tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2teaspoons water
- 2tablespoons heavy cream
- kosher salt to taste
- 1sprig fresh mint
Step 1Place sweet potato chunks into a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Stir orange juice, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, orange zest, and ginger in a bowl. Pour over the sweet potatoes.
Step 2Cover and cook on Low until sweet potatoes are very tender, 4 to 5 hours. Stir every hour. Cooking time will vary with the size of the chunks and the age of the sweet potatoes.
Step 3Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 4Combine candied ginger, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set spice mixture aside.
Step 5Heat pecans in a nonstick pan until lightly toasted, stirring or shaking the pan constantly, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Mix in spice mixture and stir until pecans are coated. Sprinkle with brown sugar and water and mix to coat all the pecans. Cook until liquid evaporates, stirring constantly, about 2 more minutes.
Step 6Spread out pecans on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and allow to cool.
Step 7Use a hand mixer or potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cream, and salt. Lightly chop the cooled pecans and sprinkle on top. Garnish with fresh mint.