A Fabulously Flavorful Winter Side Dish

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Elizabeth Karmel, dear friend, chef/owner of Carolina Cue to Go, and author of Taming the Flame, created this marvelous recipe for Thanksgiving several years ago. She serves it as a side dish and even as a pie. Elizabeth and I love the garnet yams for their beautiful color. This inspired me to add little flecks of Aleppo pepper which is not only colorful but also mildly spicy and flavorful. Here is my adaptation:

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Maple Syrup Puree Serves: 6 to 8

sweet potatoes/yams preferably garnet: 2.2 kg/5 pounds (10 medium or 5 large)
maple syrup: 382 grams/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
sour cream: 242 grams/1 cup
unsalted butter, softened: 113 grams/1 stick/8 tablespoons
2 to 3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
ground cinnamon: 2-1/2 teaspoons
Fine sea salt to taste
Optional: Aleppo pepper

Choose medium-size potatoes, about 5 inches long and feeling very heavy for their size. Clean off any dirt and bad spots with a rough brush or veggie cleaner. Dry well. Prick the tops with a fork about three times. Set the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and turn the oven (unpreheated) to 425°F. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1 hour if the potatoes are large and 1-1/4 hours if very large. Turn off the heat and let sit in the oven for 1 hour. The insides will be meltingly soft. Meanwhile combine maple syrup, sour cream, butter, chipotles in adobo, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Cut the potatoes in lengthwise halves. Scoop the hot insides into the blender or food processor. Process until silky smooth, stirring down the sides as needed. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. If desired, sprinkle with Aleppo pepper.