Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sweet Potato Souffle with Maple Pecan Syrup - Church PotLuck Side dish or Dessert

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This is one of those Ooooh and Aaaah dishes that just did not photograph well.

The taste certainly garnered it's share of accolades, but the look lost quite a bit from the oven to the serving table.  These were served at my family Thanksgiving meal.  The souffles did rise nicely, peaking about 1/2 inch above the rim of the baking Ramekins.  However they sat around for about 20 minutes while the rest of the buffet was laid out.

They (and a bit of my heart) fell.  SIgh.  But the taste and the texture were wonderful.  Only one other person at the table had seen them in their glory.  So, with visions of Julia Child and her memorable warble in my mind, "Who's to know" as I took credit for the taste of these sweet potatoes.

There are plenty of savory tastes to make this a side dish.  But special occasions call for something unique and special.  The sweet syrup and nuts add a dessert worthy taste to the dish.  There was a full buffet of options, everyone who took a ramekin full of this finished the entire bowl.

Delicious and worthy of a special occasion!

OK... Here's what I did...

Sweet Potato Souffle with Maple Pecan Syrup

NOTE- This recipe can be made in individual Ramekins (shown in photos), or in a 9X9 Baking dish if serving at a PotLuck as a side dish or dessert.

  • 4 TBS Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Small Sweet Potatoes, Roasted or steamed until centers are cooked through and soft, skins removed
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half
  • Zest of 1 Large Orange
  • Juice of 1 Large Orange
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • Large pinch of Salt
  • Yolks only from 2 Large Eggs
  • Whites only from 5 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 Cup Whole Pecans
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
Cooking Directions
  1. Take your Ramekins (or baking dish) and rub the insides with the butter, being sure to leave a layer all around the sides.
  2. Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese around the sides of the dish, making sure there is a layer clear to the top (as shown in photo). This provides a rough surface for the souffle to rise against.
  3. Set the baking dish(es) in he freezer while you work on the mix.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked sweet potatoes, Butter, 1/2 and 1/2, Orange Zest and Juice,Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Salt and 2 Egg Yolks only. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  5. Now is the time to preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Now, Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl; beat at high speed with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not over beat).
  7. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into potato mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.  Again, do not over beat.  it is fine to have streaks of white in the orange mix. Gently spoon mixture into prepared dishes from the freezer. Be careful not to touch the sides. Tap firmly on the counter for the mixture to even out.
  8. Put the dish(es) in the oven. Bake for 1 minute at 425 then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for 1 hour, until the souffle has puffed, is set and the top has turned a delicious golden brown.
  9. While the souffle is baking, in a small sauce pan, heat the maple syrup over low heat. Add the pecans and heat just below a simmer for 20 minutes until the nuts have softened and absorbed the sweetness of the syrup.
  10. Remove the dish from the oven, serve as soon as possible. the longer it takes to serve, the more likely the souffle falls (still perfectly fine to eat but loses the dramatic souffle look).
  11. Just before serving, top with the warm syrup and nuts... Serve warm and ENJOY!

This makes a wonderful side dish to serve with any specialty dinner.  This was my offering at my family Thanksgiving dinner, alongside Turkey, Brisket, a Hominy casserole and a corn dressing.


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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