Every year, when the air gets crisp and the leaves begin to fall, I make my annual trip to War Eagle Mills with some of the best friends a girl could ask for. We laugh until we cry, eat until we pop, shop until we’re broke, hunt until we find, talk until we’re horse and love each other as only good friends can do.
Here we are in our official group picture. It only took 164 tries, and the poor guy we asked to take it had no idea what he was getting into, bless his heart, but I think it turned out pretty good. I sure love these ladies.
Five years ago I discovered something pretty amazing while on our trip to War Eagle, Sweet Potato butter! I had never heard of such a thing before, but my love for sweet potatoes assured me that anything with the words “sweet potato” and “butter” in the title had to be delicious. And it was!! Give me a hot buttered biscuit with a slathering of sweet potato butter on it and I am one happy southerner!
Fast forward five years.
Someone had given Devin a HUGE bag of sweet potatoes. Now I love these sweet tasting, tuberous roots as much as the next person but I wasn’t sure what to do with this many! Mr. wonderful is forever bringing home buckets and bushels of fruits and vegetables that he has either grown or someone has blessed him with, like:
I have found or developed some of my favorite recipes out of necessity, making sure our harvest doesn’t go to waste. As I stood over this 500 pound bag, I racked my brain as to what to do with them. Then it hit me like a ton of sweet potatoes. Sweet potato butter! I had thought about making it in the past but frankly never found the motivation to undertake such a job…until now.
I could go on and on about my sweet potato butter journey…but I thought that might bore you a little…it is after all a root were talking about here 😉 so here is the condensed version.
– first I called my mother to see if she wanted to come over and help. Call us weird, but trying new things together, especially in the kitchen, get us all giddy. She agreed and we planned the date.
-next I dug around in the attic for a box of jars that someone had given me a while back. I got them out, washed them real good and ran them through the dish washer just to be safe.
-then I began to do a little research on how to make the butter. I found only one recipe in a cookbook, and that was it. So, naturally I turned to my good friend, Google. There were many recipes with varied ingredients but none that really cranked my motor, so I decided to combine a few and make my own version. More on that in a bit.
-rather than peel, dice and boil all of the potatoes, as most recipes called for, I chose to bake mine (it’s much easier and can be done the day before). First I washed them real good, making sure to cut off the pointy ends and any bad spots, while leaving the peeling on. Then I lined my oven rack with heavy foil, placed them directly on the foil and baked them till nice and soft to the touch. About an hour to hour and a half. Just give them a gentle squeeze…if they’re soft, then they’re done. (Note: it is important to use foil because the potatoes will often ooze their sweetness all over your oven and make a huge mess. If that happens, you’ll have to throw you oven away and buy a new one 😉 Foil makes for an easy cleanup!)
-once the potatoes have cooled enough for you to handle them, you can start to tear away the peeling, leaving nothing but the soft potato behind. This is SO much easier than peeling raw potatoes!
-once the potatoes were baked and peeled, it was time to purée them. A submersible blinder would have been perfect for this job, but I didn’t have one so we used a food processor, processing a few at a time. Once they were puréed to a smooth consistency, we then transferred them to a heavy pot and place it on the stove.
At this point all we had was puréed sweet potatoes, which is the most time-consuming part. The rest was easy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 medium sweet potatoes (I quadrupled this, but you get the idea)
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
Add all ingredients to the sweet potato purée, making sure to mix well. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
One thing I learned during this process is, making butter is not like making jelly or jam. It does not need to be an exact science. If want less of an ingredient, like sugar, then lower the amount. Or if you want more of something, like cinnamon, go for it! Just make it to your liking. It’s that simple! I did lots of taste testing along the way until I got it the way I wanted it.
Once the mixture is cooked, and has had time to cool off, it’s now time to transfer to your jars. We used pint jars, but any size will do. Put the lid on nice and tight and you’re done! These can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks. I store mine in the freezer until I’m ready to use them and they’re perfect.
This would be a delightful hostess gift for the holidays, or better yet, make a gift basket of hot buttered biscuits and a jar of your homemade sweet potato butter! The recipient will dance in the streets and sing your praises 😉 Enjoy!
If you like it, share it. If you love it, Pin it!