Craving apple pie with ice cream? This better-for-you spin on pie a la mode is quickly becoming my new favorite dessert — it's nutritious and insanely delish. I build it using oven-roasted sweet spuds as the base. Then, I mash the flesh with a dash of melty butter and a wintery blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Enjoy with your favorite light, lower-sugar ice cream as a topping.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2.
Scrub the sweet potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels. Prick each of them with a fork multiple times to create little holes for steam to escape.3.
Put them on the baking sheet and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely soft and the juices start to slightly drip onto the pan.4.
While the potatoes are baking, make the spice blend and salted maple pecans.
To make the spice blend:
In a small bowl stir together all of the spice ingredients and set aside for later.
To make the salted maple pecans:1.
Lay the pecans on a small baking sheet and place in the oven (with the potatoes) for about 8 minutes, or until slightly browned and fragrant.2.
Remove the pan from the oven, allow them to slightly cool and roughly them chop up. Then add them to a small bowl along with the maple syrup and ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt or kosher salt and mix until well combined.3.
Line the same small baking sheet with parchment paper and mist the paper with nonstick oil spray so the pecans don’t stick. Add the maple-and-salt-coated pecans to the sheet, spread them in an even layer, and return them to the oven for an additional 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.4.
Remove from the oven and allow the nuts to cool and harden.5.
When the potatoes are done cooking, splice them each in half lengthwise. Then, using a fork, scrape and fluff the insides, being careful to leave the outside skin intact. Add 1 teaspoon butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon spice blend to each potato half and continue to carefully mix and mash until combined.6.
Transfer to a serving dish and top each sweet potato half with a scoop of ice cream, a pinch of spice blend and 2 tablespoons of salted maple pecans.