It is from The Mount Vernon Cookbook, published by The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, which I purchased in 1999 while visiting Mount Vernon. At the time I thought it was a collection of historical recipes all from George Washington's era but now I see it more as a ladies' club collection with Virginia vibes. This is not a complaint! The few I have tried have been excellent.
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups applesauce
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter
4 eggs, separated
|Two more eggs joined the party later|
|All but the whites|
|Whites gently folded in|
|Ready to serve immediately|
Turn on the oven to preheat before you get started. Get the eggs separated, too, so the whites can warm up a bit before you beat them. I put the whites right into the bowl in which they will be beaten.
I either bake the sweet potatoes in the oven or cook them in the microwave. This is done in advance so you can peel and mash them easily.
Start with a big bowl for the sugar and cinnamon and add everything to it in order. That way you have enough room through to the end!
It is important to mix in stages as described. This gives the sweet potatoes a chance to get very mashed and blended with the other ingredients.
The recipe calls for a 3-quart casserole but I have used a 2-quart without any problems.
I keep the oven door closed while it is cooking although I check it at about 40 minutes to make sure it doesn't get too brown. The center might jiggle when it is still hot but the dish is cooked thoroughly when a knife blade inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Success! This is a very light and tasty way to serve sweet potatoes. The applesauce adds a bit of sweet and the orange peel is an excellent flavor complement. The cinnamon is just enough to hint without competing for attention.
The texture is fluffy and delicate when hot. An excellent accompaniment to ham, turkey, or chicken and is even better with a side serving of cranberry sauce.
The leftovers are also very good cold.
I've made this with freshly grated orange zest, dried orange zest, and no orange at all. They were all excellent!
Here's how I served the soufflé at my dinner, with a slice of spiral cut ham and a sauce of brown mustard mixed with bitter orange marmalade, mixed well and heated:
|Along with a tossed green salad, delicious!|