I’m always on the outlook for hundred-year-old winter vegetable recipes, so I was thrilled to find a recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Balls.
The outside of the Spiced Sweet Potato balls were crisp and browned, while the inside was nutty, rich, and spicy with the warm blend of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. The balls contained ground nuts, which added a nice texture and flavor dimension when combined with sweet potatoes.
Here’s the original recipe:
And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Spiced Sweet Potato Balls
3 large sweet potatoes (approximately 3 1/2 cups mashed)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup nuts, ground (I used walnuts.)
Place whole sweet potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender (30-45 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Remove the skins from the potatoes then mash until smooth; mix in butter, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Add ground nuts, and stir to combine. Shape into 1-inch balls, then gently roll in flour.
Melt 1/2 inch of shortening in a large skillet. Slip the sweet potato balls into the hot shortening, then gently roll the balls with a fork until all sides are a light brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Cook’s note: The mashed sweet potato mixture is very sticky. The key to success with this recipe is shaping the balls, and then gently rolling the balls in the flour while continuing to shape.