A Bit of Vermont – Baked Sweet Potato and Apple Slices

Living in the south for the last five years, I think of sweet potatoes as southern comfort food.  But its not to say that over the years northerners haven’t eaten their share of sweet potatoes. However, for a variety of reasons, its not high on their list of food ingredients.

Sweet potatoes have been grown in the Americas since 750 B.C. when we find evidence of them being grown in Peru. They do need warm climates, however, to grow. Which may explain why sweet potatoes were more popular in the south. The sweet potato was introduced to Europe by explorers and became a rare delicacy from the New World. Only the wealthy ate them and it was considered for a time an aphrodisiac.  In New England, the Pilgrims would not have been eating sweet or white potatoes.

There are 18th century American recipes from cookbooks using sweet potatoes and by the late 19th century even more recipes can be found. But I imagine it was the advent of the modern transportation methods that allowed for the rapid movement of foods long distances, that allowed the sweet potato to become something you would find more often on a New England table. Which brings me to today’s recipe which hails from Vermont!

This recipe comes from The New England Yankee Cookbook, 1939. It is an “anthology of incomparable recipes from the six New England states, a little something about the people whose traditions for good eating is herein permanently recorded by Imogene Wolcott from the files of Yankee magazine and from time-worn recipe books and many gracious contributors.”  This is my first food history cookbook, purchased long before I ever dreamed of Aunt Lil’s Kitchen and is filled with simple, honest recipes.

There are two recipes using sweet potatoes and unlike the ones I found on the Internet that were southern, these use maple syrup as the sweetener. Our southern friends use sorghum. This recipe is a great one for a cold winter’s night so enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato and Apple Slices                                                          

  • 2 large tart apples
  • 2 large cold cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Boil the sweet potatoes until done and let cool being careful to not overcook. Core apples and cut in crosswise slices. Saute the apples in butter until nearly soft. Brown the apple slices but do not allow them to break apart. Cut the potatoes into rather thick crosswise slices, sprinkle with salt.

 

Place a layer of potatoes in bottom of a shallow baking dish. Arrange a layer of apples on top. Arrange a layer of potatoes on top of this and continue making layers until you have no more. Pour the maple syrup over all and dot with butter. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 1/2 hour or until the potato absorbs nearly all the syrup and the apples are quite brown. Serves 4 people.           

2 Responses to “A Bit of Vermont – Baked Sweet Potato and Apple Slices”

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  1. Bev says:

    Yum! Was it good? This is one I’ll have to try sometime.

    I love how you take photos of your cooking!

    • Lisa says:

      Yes, it was very good Bev. I forgot to mention that in the post. Thanks on the comment on my photos. I’m working hard to try and improve them, but there’s still a lot I have to learn.

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