Thanksgiving Traditions: Mom’s (or “Aunt” Betty’s) Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

17 Nov


Once upon a time, GKG decided to put together a hand-written-slash-scrapbook-style recipe book with an old journal. (The consequence of being someone who enjoys writing — lovely and well-intentioned friends and family tend to gift you with journals. While I like to think my life is fairly interesting, it certainly can’t fill 5-10 journals a year!) The above picture is one page of clips that I’ve cut, arranged and taped / pasted into the journal’s pages, but I’ve also hand-written some of my own recipes and family favorites (pasta sauce being one of them!) in various “chapters.”

Check out a few other pages below:

One of the first recipes I recorded in said recipe book is a classic of my mom’s — mama GKG loves her some sweet potatoes, and these Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes (inspired by Madame Betty Crocker — read that with a French accent, like when you call “Target” “Tar-jay,” and it sounds a tad fancier!) have been served at nearly every family Thanksgiving we’ve celebrated. I even made them for friends one year when I wasn’t able to head home for T-Givs, and they were just as good as I remembered. An easy-peasy side dish that requires little extra technical effort (apart from some steady stirring), these sweet potatoes are a great addition to any festive fall meal.

Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes — serves 6-8 side dish servings

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2/3 cup sugar (or 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup sugar substitute [Stevia, Truvia, etc.] to save calories)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed, Minute Maid, whatever)
  • 2 tbsp butter or margerine
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat oven to 400°F. Pare sweet potatoes (trim ends); cut each lengthwise in half. Arrange in one layer in a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish or higher-sided baking pan.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt & orange peel. Slowly stir juice into sugar mixture. Add butter; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil & stir for one minute.
  • Pour hot orange juice mixture over sweet potatoes in casserole dish. Cover & bake until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork; 30 minutes at minimum. Baste occasionally with glaze. Top with dried cranberries that have been reconstituted (read: plumped up with 1/4 cup boiling water or 1/4 cup heated orange juice) as an optional garnish.
  • Note: My mom suggests parboiling the potatoes in batches to reduce cooking time. Boil potatoes in shifts until barely fork-tender; allow them to cool, then peel and place in baking dish as according to the recipe.

I’m a bit of a citrus junkie (see this sweet tea, these cookies or this pasta, among other recipes), so these sweet potatoes are one of my favorites. How do you folks like to cook your sweet potatoes? (There are about 5 million ways, so I’d love to hear your faves!) Happy eating!


2 Responses to “Thanksgiving Traditions: Mom’s (or “Aunt” Betty’s) Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes”


  1. Tackling T-Givs, Part 3: Cranberry Bread & Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce « galley kitchen gal - November 23, 2012

    […] In the meantime, cranberries are delicious. We typically see them at Thanksgiving, but they’re in abundance and ready to nosh upon all throughout this time of year. I had two cranberry recipes on the docket for Thursday’s festivities — Mom’s Fabulous Cranberry Bread and Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce in all of its decadent glory. (For earlier Thanksgiving entries, check out menu planning and sweet potatoes.) […]

  2. Superfood Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette « galley kitchen gal - December 16, 2012

    […] that can also be served cold or at room temperature, and works particularly well with leftovers of Mom’s Sweet Potatoes and Pinot Noir Cranberry […]

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