Say hello to this sweet potato purée with marshmallow, your newest go-to side dish, and not just on special occasions. Mashed sweet potatoes are topped with homemade marshmallow topping (or store-bought mini-marshmallows) and slid beneath the broiler until bubbling and toasted. Buttered toasted pecans add crunch.
You may think, at first glance, that this is the same old sweet potato and marshmallow casserole you grew up eating each Thanksgiving. And you’d be partly right. It’s definitely inspired by that American classic. Yet there are critical differences that make it an undeniably grown-up offering. First, it doesn’t take up valuable oven space while you’re juggling 14 other things that need the oven on the busiest cooking day of the year. Second, it relies on actual sweet potatoes that were dug out of the dirt locally rather than mushy, tin-tasting canned sweet potatoes. Third, it’s quick and easy enough to throw together for a side on any given weeknight. If you really want to impress anyone, including yourself, you can fancy it up by making the marshmallow topping from scratch. But store-bought mini marshmallows do quite nicely. As with most adult things, that’s up to you.–Angie Zoobkoff
Sweet Potato Purée with Marshmallow
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4 to 6
Special Equipment: Pastry bag fitted with a small fluted tip (optional); kitchen torch (optional)
- For the marshmallow topping (OR substitute 7 ounces | 200 g mini marshmallows)
- 5 sheets gold leaf gelatin or two (1/4-ounce | 7-g) gelatin packets
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
- 1/4 cup tepid water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 oz)
- 2 cups pecan pieces
- For the sweet potato purée
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, unpeeled (about 4 small)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 oz)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 20 grates fresh nutmeg
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Make the marshmallow topping
- 1. Using your hands, break up the gelatin sheets into small pieces in a small bowl, or empty the gelatin packets into the bowl. Add the vanilla bean seeds and water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and then remove from the heat and pour it into a glass measuring cup.
- 3. Pour the gelatin mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy, 10 to 15 minutes. While continuing to beat, slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture, beating until soft peaks form, about 10 minutes. Continue to beat until the marshmallow has a light, fluffy but sticky texture; be careful not to over mix or the mixture will separate. Transfer the marshmallow mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small fluted tip and set aside at room temperature. Do not refrigerate the marshmallow.
- Toast the pecans
- 4. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter foams, add the pecans and toss until toasted, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Make the sweet potato purée
- 5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into equal-size pieces. When the water is boiling, gently drop in the sweet potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
- 6. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a food processor and add the brown sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture is smooth, stopping and scraping down the side of the food processor if needed. Transfer the sweet potato purée to a saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- To serve
- 7. If using a kitchen torch, transfer the purée to a warmed heatproof serving bowl or individual bowls. Scatter the mini marshmallows over the puree or pipe the marshmallow on top in a circular motion until the surface is nearly covered. Use the kitchen torch to lightly char the marshmallow. If using the broiler, transfer the purée to an ovenproof baking dish. Scatter the mini marshmallows over the puree or pipe the marshmallow on top in a circular motion until the surface is nearly covered. Slide the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
- 8. Sprinkle with the pecans and serve immediately.