As I mentioned in the above post, I had originally intended to post this recipe prior to the Christmas holiday, as a lighter, healthier option for either a dessert or a side. However, my vacation until the 23rd followed by Christmas preparations on the 24th followed by Christmas morning activities followed by me bawling like a baby during the movie Marley and Me on Christmas afternoon(if you love dogs like I do, then proceed with caution to this movie) prevented me from posting until today.
For me, and I am certain that I am not alone, the constant influx of sweets, breads, and typically heavy holiday fare can get to be just a bit too much. Our bodies need a break and, even if you are entertaining, your guests might appreciate being served a dessert that allows their metabolisms to come up for air for the evening. Souffles are one of those desserts that can appear to be decadent while really being quite light. By choosing a healthier and naturally sweet flavor, such as sweet potatoes and apples in this case, and by replacing most of the separated eggs with just egg whites, you eliminate a good deal of the extra fat, excess sugar, and calories. Souffles are much easier to prepare than their reputation allows one to believe–but you don't need to tell your guests this. Go ahead and let them be impressed. This could also make a nice side dish for roasted turkey or pork. Here are my extra tips for these naturally sweet light and healthy treats:
- As an alternative to roasting the sweet potatoes in pieces, you can roast the sweet potatoes whole (for about 1 hour at 400F degrees) until they are very tender to the touch. Let the potatoes cool, peel them, and add the filling to the food processor. Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork prior to roasting and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet to prevent dripping.
- The souffles are best served immediately after baking. They tend to deflate fairly quickly.
- Other varieties for apples, such as Gala or Fuji, can be used instead of the Granny Smith.
- When adding the egg white mixture to the sweet potato mixture, be sure to fold it in gently. Overmixing will prevent the souffles from rising properly.
- The brown sugar can be replaced with pure maple syrup or honey to achieve a slightly different flavor.
Sweet Potato and Apple Souffles
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons flour
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the sweet potatoes on the sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the apple to the baking sheet, cover, and bake until tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, uncover, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Leave the oven on.
Transfer the sweet potatoes and apples to the work bowl of a food processor. Add the cinnamon, allspice, salt, and brown sugar. Puree the mixture, adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the egg yolk and flour, and set aside.
Place the egg whites in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Whisk 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the sweet potato mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
Divide among six 6-8 ounce ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed and cooked through, 12-14 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.