I have newly come to love sweet potatoes. As a kid I never liked them because they were orange…and potatoes…and that was just wrong. As an adult I steered clear of them because of those rather frightening looking casseroles studded with miniature marshmallows that, I swear, looked like eyes. I don’t care for food that looks back at me. Then I saw Emeril make these sweet potato filled orange cups and had to try them. Making these has become something of a fall tradition ever since. I did change up his recipe a bit, adding orange zest and doubling the amount of Brandy (Oh, yeah!).
Brandy and Orange-Mashed Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups
Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
To make filling:
7 large Melissa's organic sweet potatoes, about 3 pounds
4 large oranges
1 stick butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brandy
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
To make topping:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest until just cool enough to handle.
Lower the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the orange cups by cutting the oranges in half and scooping out the pulp, leaving only the shell. Set aside. I find this amazingly easy to do by using an Electric Citrus Juicer. If you don’t have one of these, get one. It is money well spent. These juicers can absolutely get the very last drop of juice out of any piece of citrus and leave you with an almost pristine shell.
While still somewhat hot, peel the potatoes and place in a large bowl. Discard the skins and tough, stringy fibers. Add the butter, and with an electric mixer, beat out the lumps. Add the sugar, eggs, orange juice, heavy cream, and brandy, and mix until smooth. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and mix well. Re-season, to taste.
Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the orange cups, mounding and smoothing the top.
Mix together topping ingredients and put a generous dollop on top of each potato.
Bake until puffed and slightly golden, about 20 minutes.
NOTE: Both mixture and orange cups can be made a day ahead. Store them in separate containers and refrigerate until ready to use.
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