This is our adaptation of a Louisiana family recipe from How America Eats, by Clementine Paddleford, (Scribner,N.Y.,1960).
- 8 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 pinches salt
- 7 tbsp. butter
- 1⁄2 cup half and half
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Put 8 medium sweet potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and add 2 generous pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and cook until soft when pierce, 30-40 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
Peel potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Coarsely mash potatoes with the tines of a fork, then add 5 tbsp. softened butter, 1⁄2 cup half-and-half, 1⁄4 cup dry sherry, and 3 tbsp. brown sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Transfer sweet potato mixture to a buttered medium baking dish, dot with 2 tbsp. butter, and bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.