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History Cookbook: Buttered Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is in categories Stuarts, Side dishes, Vegetarian
About this recipe
Healthiness : (54 votes)
Difficulty:  1 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: Leave the sweet potatoes to cool a little before you pull the skins off, so they are not too hot to handle safely.
Preparation Time: Method 1 - 30 minutes; Method 2 - 1 hour.
Cooking Time: Method 1 - 20 minutes; Method 2 - 50 minutes
Number of servings: 4-6
Serving suggestions: Serve with a roast and seasonal vegetables.
This is a vegetarian recipe

Sweet potatoes were freshly arrived from the New World (America) and this Elinor Fettiplace recipe shows that they had already been adopted as a foodstuff. The recipe is delicious and is still a traditional dish for Thanksgiving in America. It is interesting to note how many new ingredients were finding thier way onto the table in the Stuart period: chocolate, potatoes and even (somewhat revoltingly) tobacco soup.

"To Butter Potato Roots

Take the roots and boile them in water, then peele and slice them, put some rosewater to them and sugar, the pill of an orenge & some juice of the orenge, so let them boile a good while, then put some butter to them& and when the butter is melted serve them. This way you may bake them, but put them unboiled into the paste."

  • 1lb (450g) sweet potatoes,
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • 1 tablespoon golden or brown sugar
  • a dollop of unsalted butter (1-2 oz)
  • grated rind and juice of half an orange
  • Potato peeler
  • Tablespoon
  • Grater
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Chopping board
  • Masher
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Scrub the sweet potatoes and put them whole into a pan with enough water to cover them
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for about 20 minutes
  3. Test the potatoes with a knife- this should slide in easily
  4. Drain the water and remove the cooked poatoes from the pan 
  5. Leave to cool a little
  6. Slice an orange and grate some of the rind
  7. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to touch, slice the potatoes and peel off the skin. The skin should slip off easily when you pull with your fingers  
  8. Chop the potatoes roughly and return to the pan 
  9. Add the butter, rosewater, orange and sugar and mash them well
  10. Warm through on a low heat until the butter has melted, taking care not to let the potatoes burn  
  11. Serve hot

Alternate method: 

  1. At stage 8 above, slice the cooked potatoes and lay them in a buttered, oven-proof dish  
  2. Warm the juice, rind, rosewater and sugar to make a syrup and pour this over the sliced potatoes  
  3. Bake in the oven Gas 4, 180 C for 20-30 minutes
  4. Serve hot  
Buttered Sweet Potatoes - print view  Buttered Sweet Potatoes - print view

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Name: Lindsay 1st April 2010
How much butter and what kind?
We have amended the recipe to show this. The original version was probably very buttery, rather like the Tudor re-fried beans dish but for modern tastes the butter should just add a little richness. The Cookit Team.
Name: Hannah 12th January 2010
i love this repice
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