Plain baked sweet potatoes are great; this way of preparing them is sublime. Serve with turkey dishes, along with cold apple or cranberry sauce.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pierce the sweet potatoes two or three times with a fork. Arrange them on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the flesh is tender. Slit the skin to let the steam escape.
Heat the milk, butter, and maple syrup in a large skillet or saute pan; do not boil. Scoop the sweet potato flesh into the same pan, then mash mixture together with a potato masher. Mash in the lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste; the texture should be slightly lumpy but still mashed. Serve right from the pan or transfer to a serving dish. Dust the top with cinnamon or nutmeg, and serve at once.
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