Scalloped and Candied Sweet Potatoes and Apples – Perfect for your next holiday gathering, this delicious side dish is both beautiful to behold and just bursting with fresh fall flavors!
We all have a favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Mine has always been the sweet potatoes. My husband, on the other hand, says that they’re one of his least favorites. I find this puzzling because they’re so yummy!
As a kid I assumed that every American ate their Thanksgiving sweet potatoes the same way. Growing up my mom baked up bite-sized sweet bites in a sticky and buttery brown sugar sauce. I later learned that my husband’s family made them into a thin purée with marshmallows on top. Naturally, if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose my mom’s.
Now that I like to think of myself as being all grown up, I thought that this year I’d create my own version of Thanksgiving sweet potatoes in hopes that Mr. Simple Seasonal would start to recognize their virtues more. I believe that my husband’s grievance against candied sweet potatoes is that they’re too sweet. Personally, I think it’s all about the “candied” aspect of the dish.
To make this classic Thanksgiving side work for both of us, I kept all that candied brown sugar and butter intact. I then added tart apples to the dish and fresh-squeezed orange juice to the sauce. Both added a touch of tartness and more depth of flavor. It’s no longer trying to be savory while also being more dessert-like. Instead it’s a balance of warmth and sweetness with a hint of tart. And did I mention the apple rings look beautiful? Perfect for adorning your Thanksgiving or Christmas table!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (2.25-2.5 lbs)
- 3-4 tart apples 1- 1.25 lbs)
- 7 Tbsp butter divided
- 1/2 C fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 C water
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 C packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp chopped pecans
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a casserole dish with butter and set aside.
- Cook the sweet potatoes in the oven or in the microwave so that they are soft, but still a little firm. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the cooked sweet potatoes and cut them into 1/8-1/4 inch thick rounds.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking and cooling, prepare the apples. Remove the cores from the apples and cut them into 1/8 inch thick rings. Sauté the apples in 3 Tbsp of butter until they are light brown and just beginning to soften, but not mushy.
- In the casserole dish arrange alternating layers of sweet potato rounds and apple rings so that there are 4 layer in all; sweet potato, apple, sweet potato and apple.
- In the pan that the apple rings were cooked in, with the burner off, whisk together the orange juice and water with 1 tsp of corn starch until there are no clumps. Next, whisk in the dark brown sugar, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and salt. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
- Evenly pour the hot sauce over the sweet potatoes and apples that have been arranged in the casserole dish. Bake uncovered in a 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes or until the dish is bubbling and heated through. Sprinkle on the pecan and brown sugar topping and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
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