Photo by Erin Feinblatt

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

Makes 8–10 servings

4 pounds sweet potatoes

14 cup milk, half and half or heavy cream

1–2 tablespoons butter

14 cup maple syrup

Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Salt and pepper

Topping: your choice of homemade marshmallows, crumbled candied bacon or candied apples

Preheat oven to 400°. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until very tender. Cut in half and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl and put the skins in the compost bin. Press the sweet potatoes through a ricer or mash them with a potato masher.

Add the milk or cream along with the butter and maple syrup. Add just a bit of nutmeg, but add a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Place in a large baking dish. You can make it ahead of time to this point and refrigerate until ready. Take out of the refrigerator and let it sit until it is almost room temperature. If you are using the marshmallows, cut them into pieces that aren’t too thick and then arrange on the top. (Note: The homemade marshmallows will spread further than the commercial variety.)

Bake in a 350° to 375° oven (it’s flexible if you have other dishes in the oven at the same time) until heated through and the marshmallows are lightly browned, about 15–20 minutes. Watch carefully so that they don’t burn—or catch fire. Alternately, top the sweet potato mixture with crumbled candied bacon or candied apples and bake until heated through.

Krista Harris is the editor and co-publisher of Edible Santa Barbara.