Sweet potato bake, or sweet potato casserole, has always been a Southern favorite of mine for holiday meals. Deliciously sweet, rich, and creamy, sweet potato bake is a perfect balance to Bonfire Cyser. Bonfire has a smoky, apple nose with a medium high acid, much like a dry white wine. Made with local, organic smoked fish peppers, Bonfire has a light spice and a pleasant nightshade, chile flavored finish. The spice isn't too hot, just a subtle bite, and warms you through as it settles. Trust me, the spice, crisp cider flavor, and balanced body from the honey added to the cyser make Bonfire Cyser a perfect balance to a rich sweet potato bake.
The recipe below is designed to specifically pair with Bonfire Cyser, and includes chipolte chile powder and Chinese five spice for a perfect marriage of spices and chile flavors. If you've never made sweet potato casserole before, it is a much looser texture than a pumpkin pie, but no less delicious. Much like sweet potato bake, pumpkin pie makes a great pair with Bonfire Cyser, and you could enjoy your favorite pumpkin pie with Bonfire just the same.
Sweet Potato Bake
- 2 cups sweet potatoes (2-3 large)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup pecans or candied pecans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain, then loosely mash in a large mixing bowl. If you have more than 2 cups sweet potatoes, up to 3 is fine - this recipe is fairly forgiving.
- Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, chipotle chile powder, Chinese five spice powder, and vanilla to the bowl. Using a beater, beat until silky and smooth.
- Grease a pie dish, small casserole pan, or six individual ramekins with butter or neutral oil. Fill your baking dish with the mixture. Top with an even amount of the pecans or candied pecans.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the casserole is starting to firm up but still fairly loose.
- Remove and serve warm with a glass of Bonfire Cyser on the side!
By Caiti Sullivan, Events and Markets Coordinator at Millstone. For more locally focused recipes and thoughts on food, visit Caiti's blog, Charm City Homestead.