Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Paige Hicks
Hands-on Time
12 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 6 (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

From the Kitchen of…Hugh Acheson, Longtime Cooking Light Friend

"This dish is an example of the synergy of my Northern and Southern roots. My Canadian veins are partially full of maple syrup, and I adore the Southern staple crop of the sweet potato."

The gastrique, a tangy-sweet glaze, is Thanksgiving worthy but also simple enough to pull off on a weekday.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 2

Place sweet potatoes and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Drain potatoes.

Step 3

Combine syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; simmer 4 minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and pepper.

Step 4

Coat an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange potatoes in a shingle pattern in dish. Top with syrup mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and marjoram. Bake at 400° for 4 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Remove from oven. Spoon sauce over potatoes; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Recipe adapted from The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Ratings & Reviews

November 15, 2015
Yes, it's correct that you bake them for only 4 minutes at the end.  The boiling is enough to soften them.

November 29, 2015
Yes, I made it this past Thanksgiving and the 4 minutes in the oven was enough. Just boil until almost cooked through. In fact, you could probably cook through entirely in the boiling water but mine was just slightly underdone in the middle. The short time in the oven was enough to finish them off!

November 29, 2015
You can boil the potatoes ahead of time and set them up in the dish. The day of, make the gastrique then finish off in the oven. Very short oven time. 

Not a star

November 28, 2016
Taste was good, but labor intensive and based careful measurement on proportions given gastrique failed to thicken--at all. Given fact it did not thicken, it provided no coating to potatoes and ended up a broth under them as they cooked. I did cook the dish far longer than 4 minutes, testing for tenderness to judge how long (about 25 min with potatoes I used). I would want to know how to fix the thickening issue before I'd make again. 

November 29, 2015
This is the correct baking time. This recipe is discussed at and they confirm it there. The boiling should be until almost done. I didn't need any longer than 4 in the oven. 


November 29, 2015
Heard reviews of this recipe on NPR. The chefs who tested this went on and on about it being one of the best recipes of their test Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't impressed. The gastrique wasn't all that. It was easy to make and can be done in stages but it didn't get much positive feedback from the party. Not going to try again.

how can this dish be prepared the day before?

November 26, 2015
can I make this dish the day before

Baking Time Questionable...

November 16, 2015
This is an excellent recipe, one I'll make over and over.  However, who would ever turn on an oven to 400 degrees to bake something for only 4 minutes???  Will the author please recheck that baking time?  I baked mine about 15 minutes and they turned out wonderful.  Also, you don't need that much salt at the end.  One sprinkling is fine.  

Definitely Different Than Your Usual Thanksgiving Dish

November 15, 2015
I made this dish with Murasaki sweet potatoes, which I wouldn't recommend, because the potatoes are white, which isn't as pretty, and they crumble more like a Russett potato, which makes it hard to arrange them in the dish.  The maple gastrique is simple to make, so I made it on a weeknight.  The vinegar /potato combination is reminiscent of warm German potato salad, only with maple flavor.  Rounded out with other dishes, this makes a nice addition to Thanksgiving or any meal.  I followed the recipe as written except that I didn't add the fresh marjoram leaves at the end.

Bake only 4 minutes?

October 18, 2015
Is this correct that you only bake these potatoes for 4 minutes at the end? I know they're boiled in Step 2 but is this enough to soften them completely?