baked in an 8” cast iron skillet, six generous servings
1 medium onion, peeled, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 sweet potatoes, (about 16 oz. total weight) peeled/shredded to equal 4 generous cups
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 large egg
1½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons olive oil for the skillet
Adjust the oven racks to accommodate the cast iron skillet on the bottom and middle racks. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the sliced onion and cook over low heat until caramelized. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, paprika and fresh herbs. In a large bowl, toss together the shredded sweet potatoes, cheese, cooled onions and the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk and pour this over the potatoes/cheese/onions/dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to combine the mixture.
Heat the olive oil in the cast iron skillet until it sizzles, then add the potato mixture to the pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Using oven mitts, set the skillet on a baking sheet and place on the bottom rack of the preheated oven. After 20 minutes, move the baking sheet with the skillet to the middle rack and continue baking for an additional 20-25 minutes. The potatoes should be golden and slightly crispy around the edges; total baking time is about 45 minutes. Serve hot with a generous dollop of cranberry sauce or pear sauce.
Drew's Classic Cranberry Sauce
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries to a heatproof bowl. Simmer the cranberry syrup until reduced and slightly thickened, an additional 5-10 minutes, then pour the syrup over the berries and set aside to cool. Serve with the skillet pie, refrigerating any leftovers.
Fresh Pear Sauce
4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into large chunks
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
In a medium non-reactive saucepan, combine all ingredients. Simmer over low heat until thick. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and serve with the skillet pie. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.