Wednesday, November 9, 2011

sweet potato sonker

My dear 'at home' friends, it's been several days ~ if not weeks ~ since my last post.   
I've been extremely busy and have wanted to post for days, but haven't managed to find the time to escape to my office and share with you what I've been up to . . . let alone the new recipes that I've discovered while researching dishes for my Thanksgiving menu this year.   
I know that I'm behind on posts, but I'm planning on budgeting time to share a variety of new and updated Thanksgiving dishes that I hope will inspire you to serve a new dish this season.  

It's not surprising that I'm choosing to share a dessert with you first.  If you're the person designated to bring desserts this year, then surprise your guests with this . . . 

Sweet Potato Sonker

courtesy Cook"s Country   

Sonker is not to be confused with classic pureed sweet potato pie. This deep-dish beauty is chock full of thinly sliced, steamed sweet potatoes coated in a mixture of cider, brown sugar, butter, flour, and warm spices, such as cinnamon and allspice, and is served with a thin, custard-like sauce.   
2 (15-ounce) boxes Pillsbury Just Unroll Pie Crust   
1large egg, beaten    
2cups apple cider    
4pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/4 inch thick   
1cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar   
4tablespoons unsalted butter, softened      
2 1/2tablespoons all-purpose flour   
2tablespoons lemon juice    
1teaspoon vanilla extract    
3/4teaspoon ground cinnamon     
1/2teaspoon ground allspice   
1/4teaspoon salt   
1tablespoon granulated sugar   

Custard Dip
2cups whole milk
1/4cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
2teaspoons cornstarch
1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8teaspoon salt
1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract   

for the Sonker
1. Working on lightly floured counter, unroll 2 dough rounds. Brush half of 1 round with egg and overlap with second round. Roll out dough to 17 by 13-inch rectangle and fit into 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat shaping and rolling with remaining 2 dough rounds; reserve beaten egg. Trim dough into rectangle and cut into ten 1-inch strips. Transfer dough strips to parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring cider to boil in Dutch oven. Place steamer basket in Dutch oven and fill with sweet potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until potatoes are nearly tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and reserve sweet potatoes, leaving cider in pot.
3. Cook cider over high heat until reduced to ½ cup, about 5 minutes. Combine drained sweet potatoes, brown sugar, reduced cider, butter, flour, lemon juice, vanilla, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, and salt in large bowl. Spread out sweet potato mixture on rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
4. Scrape cooled sweet potato mixture into dough-lined dish and press into even layer. Brush edges of dough with reserved egg. With long side of dish facing you, lay 4 dough strips lengthwise over sweet potato mixture. Weave remaining 6 strips into lattice pattern. Press dough strips into bottom crust and trim excess. Fold dough sides inward under lip of baking dish and crimp with fork.
5. Combine granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in bowl. Brush dough with reserved egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until deep golden brown, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking. Let sonker cool on wire rack for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. (Sonker can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.)   

for the Custard Dip
Meanwhile, bring milk, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Off heat, add vanilla. Transfer to bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve with sonker.  

Serves 12

Bon Appetit!

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