In my ongoing quest to create real-food Thanksgiving dishes, I have done a number of different variations on a theme with sweet potatoes–honey and orange glazed chunks, my baked version with Cranberry Butter, and any number of varieties of whipped, mashed, and riced dishes. Marshmallows never enter the picture. However, this newest version, using Vermont Creamery’s Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraîche, has an intense vanilla flavor that reminds me of what I like about the marshmallow versions–but with a beautifully creamy texture, and some savory crunch added by butter-toasted black walnuts nestled on the top. The crème fraîche is loaded with real vanilla bean, and very lightly sweetened with sugar. Vermont Creamery is also sponsoring a great giveaway of some of their cultured dairy products–details at the end of the post.
This is one of two posts I am doing for the “Keep it Fraîche” campaign, along with fellow bloggers Christine, from Cook The Story, Sam, from Sweet Remedy, and Carey, of Reclaiming Provincial. Be sure to check out their beauriful recipes! For a couple of years now I have been avoiding all low-fat, non-cultured dairy, but cultured, full-fat dairy is a mainstay in my kitchen. If you find that you have some lactose issues, you might be like me, and discover that cultured dairy works well with your system. The culturing process removes most or all of the lactose, depending on the product. Crème fraîche is a wonderful product to thicken sauces without adding grains, and I use it in soups, sauces, and desserts.
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces Vermont Creamery Madagascar Vanilla Creme Fraiche
- 2 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Lightly Salted Cultured Butter
- 1/3 cup black walnut pieces
- Roast the sweet potatoes until soft. I roast them at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, but the time will depend on the size of the potatoes. When you can easily insert the tip of a knife into the center of a potato, it is ready.
- Let the sweet potatoes cool just enough to handle. Remove the skins and cut them into large chunks. Add the chunks to the food processor, along with the salt, vanilla, and creme fraiche. Pulse until the mixture is smooth, and then transfer to a serving bowl. Note: You may also mash or rice the potatoes, if you do not have a food processor.
- In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the black walnut pieces and let them warm in the butter, stirring frequently. When the walnuts begin to smell a little toasty, remove from heat and pour them over the sweet potatoes.
Note that if you cannot find the Madagascar Vanilla version, you may substitute plain crème fraîche and add in a tablespoon of honey and the interior seeds from half of a vanilla bean. Similarly, if you cannot find black walnuts (or do not like them–I realize there are people who do not…) you can substitute pecan or English walnut pieces. Or, skip them all together and just go for the creamy, vanilla-rich sweet potatoes.
Now, on to the giveaway!
Giveaway has ended! Congratulations to Angela W., who won the Vermont Creamery gift set.
Vermont Creamery is going to send one lucky reader a gift set of crème fraîche and cultured butter products, including both the plain and Madagascar Vanilla versions. Also included: some of their really amazing cultured butter (regular, plus the sea salt and maple verion, made with the addition of maple sugar–which I slathered on some of my grain-free sweet potato pancakes), a box of crème fraîche truffles (!!), and a “Keep it Fraîche” shirt. To enter, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form.
Disclosure: Vermont Creamery sent me samples of their cultured dairy products to use for recipe testing, and they are providing this reader giveaway. No other compensation was provided for this post, and all opinions are my own, and genuine.
Thanks for reading,