MASHED SWEET POTATOES, PLANTAINS AND APPLES
Kitchen Memories: A Legacy of Family Recipes
Carla Hall Lyons, a Washington, D.C., caterer, remembers family meals, and this dish in particular. She says, "Mashed sweet potatoes were everybody's favorite at our Sunday family dinners—with or without the almost-burnt marshmallows. It was a way for the kids to get away with a sweet before dessert was served. The addition of the plantains—an African and Caribbean staple—and the apples update this dish and add both sweet and tart flavor notes. The black-ripe plantains are sweeter and softer than both the green and the yellow plantains."
• 3 small sweet potatoes
• 2 black-ripe plantains
• 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and quartered plus extra slices for garnish
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• cinnamon sticks for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake until fork tender, about 40 minutes.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Cut each end of the plantains off, and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the peel. Place the plantain pieces and apple quarters on the pan, and set aside. Halfway through the cooking time of the potatoes, put the plantains and apples in the oven.
Bake the plantains and apples until fork-tender. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them, and put the potatoes, plantains, and apples in a large bowl with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Mix all ingredients with a potato masher, beating until smooth and well mixed. Spoon mixture into a baking dish, and heat through before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices.