Lemon Sweet Potatoes with Meringue Topping
Serve with roast turkey or baked ham. Make-ahead: The sweet potato base can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
  • 3pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 2tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4large egg yolks (reserve the whites)
  • 4large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2cup granulated sugar
  1. To make the purée: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly butter a 9-inch ceramic quiche dish or glass pie plate.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes, but do not peel them. Pierce each one a few times with a fork and put them on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife, about 50 minutes. (The roasting time will depend on the size and bulk of the sweet potatoes.) Let them cool until easier to handle, about 15 minutes.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and put the flesh in a medium bowl. Add the heavy cream, brown sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice, and nutmeg. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, whip the mixture until smooth. Beat in the yolks. Spread the purée in the baking dish.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Bake the purée until it is set and barely beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. (The sweet potato base can be cooled, covered with aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350ºF oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Uncover the purée.)
  5. To make the meringue: Using the mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form (see Note). Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks. Using a spoon, spread and swirl the meringue over the purée.
  6. Bake until the meringue is touched with golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Note: This dish is easiest to make with an electric hand-held mixer. I love my standing mixer, but it is too large for some jobs. For example, the amount of egg whites for the meringue is too small to beat efficiently in the mixer’s large bowl, and a hand-mixer works much better.

Variation: Orange Sweet Potatoes with Meringue Topping: Substitute orange zest and juice for the lemon zest and juice.