Citrus-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
These candied sweet potatoes work as a side dish for any dinner or holiday celebration by balancing citrusy sweet and savory flavors — and they also produce top-notch leftovers. Right out of the oven or the fridge, they are sure to add a pleasantly tart note to any meal. The braising liquid thickens as the tubers cook, resulting in a tangy glaze that coats every bite. Its acidity also helps the sweet potatoes stay intact with a slight bite even as they soften. The thinly sliced orange zest becomes tender and develops a marmalade-like taste. The shiny strips make for a beautiful garnish, along with the syrupy pan sauce.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 3medium oranges
- ¾cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ½teaspoon ground ginger
- ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ½pounds sweet potatoes (about 9 small)
- 4tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Step 1Heat oven to 375 degrees (see Tip). Use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of zest off 2 oranges. Cut the strips into thin matchsticks using a sharp knife and transfer to a large bowl. Juice all the oranges, the lemon and limes into the bowl for 1 1/4 cups juice. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper until the sugar dissolves.
Step 2Generously peel the sweet potatoes, removing the skin and the tougher layer of flesh just beneath. If your sweet potatoes are larger than 2 inches in diameter, halve or quarter lengthwise. Cut into 1-inch-thick rounds or pieces, add to the citrus mixture and toss to coat.
Step 3Transfer the sweet potatoes and juice mixture to a 9-by-13-inch shallow glass or ceramic baking dish. Dot the top with the butter. Bake, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes to cook and coat evenly, until the sweet potatoes are tender and glazed, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. A paring knife should slide through the potatoes easily and the glaze should be the consistency of syrup.
Step 4Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The dish can be made ahead and cooled, then wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 350-degree oven, covered with foil, or in a microwave, covered with a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap.