I can still remember the car ride to my grandparent's house every Thanksgiving. Three hours to Reading, PA and when we passed the Sturgis Pretzel Factory we were really close. Walking in the door to their house, we were always greeted with hugs, smiles, and kisses. Their home was well decorated for every season plus there were the frogs. My grandma collected frog trinkets, so they were everywhere (a little kid's delight). Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday there. My grandparents cooked together and the feast was incredible. These sweet potatoes were my favorite side dish and every year I still make them. I make them one day ahead of time and reheat them on Thanksgiving day. I make them in a crockpot like this:
6 medium sweet potatoes (6-9 lbs)
½ - 1 C brown sugar (I use ½ C and then a drizzle of honey)
1 tsp salt
¼ C butter
¼ C water
- Peel potatoes
- Cut them into ½ inch thick round pieces by slicing the sweet potato from end to end
- Parboil sweet potatoes 15 min in boiling water, drain gently to keep the pieces of sweet potatoes intact
- Layer drained sweet potato rounds in a crockpot or glass baking dish (my Grandma used her glass bread loaf dishes). I like using a crockpot because it frees up my oven for other things. This rectangular crockpot is perfect for this dish because the insert is oven safe and is a nice serving dish (no transfer of food necessary). The crockpot lid also can lock on for easy transport.
- Make the syrup in a small sauce pan by boiling the syrup ingredients together for 3 min, stirring constantly
- Drizzle the syrup evenly over the sweet potatoes
- Optional: drizzle with a little honey
- Cook on low in your crock for 6 hours, basting periodically. I baste these every hour to keep them moist and juicy… these sweet potatoes almost fall apart when serving and melt in your mouth. If you like your sweet potatoes a little bit more firm, cook them less (to your desired firmness).
- Optional: sprinkle with cinnamon right before serving
Oven Baking Instructions: Bake for 1 hour at 375 covered tightly with aluminum foil so the potatoes bake evenly. Baste the sweet potatoes every 20 minutes. Bake uncovered for 40 more minutes to get that nice crust on the top ones, still basting every 20 minutes. Pierce with a fork to see if they are done to your liking, if not, keep cooking till soft.
Remember you can make these ahead of time and then just reheat them in your crockpot or oven on Thanksgiving day. Enjoy!