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Candied Sweet Potatoes

Makes about 1 cup (if using fresh sweet potatoes)

This is one of my very favorite dishes in the whole world! If possible, use fresh sweet potatoes, but it will still be delicious if you use the canned variety.

Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pure Magic.

2 medium-size sweet potatoes (see Note), peeled and diced into 1 1/2 - 2-inch cubes
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, in all
1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
juice and grated rind from ⅛ lemon
how to prepare
In a 1-quart saucepan combine the sweet potatoes, water, sugars, 2 tablespoons of the butter, vanilla, and lemon juice and rind.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the remaining butter and stir until completely melted.  Cook uncovered until sauce is thick, about 2 minutes more.

Note: If fresh sweet potatoes are not available you may substitute 1 (15 ounce) can sweet potatoes packed in syrup.   To use canned sweet potatoes, drain them, reserving ½ cup of the syrup.  In a 1-quart saucepan place the reserved syrup, ⅓ cup sugar, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and the juice and grated rind from ½  lemon.  Cook over high heat for 2 minutes, whisking frequently.  Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to very low.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and cook until the mixture is reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally and being careful not to break up the potato pieces.

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