They started out in neat rows, but as I didn't have a turkey baster,
I gently flipped them while baking.
If you have a type A personality like me, it should come as no surprise that I'm already testing out recipes for Thanksgiving. It looks like a small one this year -- just us and my parents -- but really, I'll take any excuse to cook while satisfying a perfectionist itch.
This recipe comes from The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan, a beautifully photographed cookbook with a number of interesting recipes. (Plus Amazon.com has it for about $7 -- cheap!) If you have a sweet tooth and like to masquerade dessert as dinner, this is for you. Oddly enough, Shane and I liked it much more than the kids did, but that probably has to do with the facts that A) Kian isn't a big fan of sweets and B) Sadie is anti-sweet potato.
In any event, the sweet glaze nicely complements the potatoes and apples, and provides tasty counterpoint to more savory dishes.
You could even make this without the sweet potatoes and serve it alongside a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
Maple-Glazed Apple and Sweet Potato Gratin
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for the greasing the pan
3 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. dark brown sugar, packed
3 large sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs. total) peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
3 Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 lbs.) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Generously coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt 4 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, whisking constantly, until flour is blended and cooked through, about 1 minute. Add the maple syrup, salt, and brown sugar. Simmer, whisking frequently [if not constantly -- LR] until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
Arrange rows of alternating sweet potato slices and apple slices in the pan. Pour reserved sauce evenly over top, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 40 minutes.
Uncover, raise the temperature to 450-degrees F, and baste the potatoes and apples with the juices that collect in the bottom of the pan. Bake the gratin, basting every 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and nicely browned at the edges, about 30 minutes longer. Serve immediately or keep warm in a low oven for up to 30 minutes.
The gratin can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and store at room temperature until ready to bake.