East Texans are sweet on sweet potatoes | Community Spirit
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Scott and Yolanda Lyles are third-generation farmers in Alba, Texas. They grow some of the best sweet potatoes in Texas, and their children and grandchildren are working the land right alongside them on Bright Star Farm.
Scott inherited Bright Star Farm from his grandfather, and the day we visited with them his grandchildren, ranging from elementary-school age to age 18, (several optimistically outfitted in their Texas Rangers gear) were knowledgeably assisting in directing customers to the right kinds of sweet potatoes, whether for baking into pies, cooking, or feeding to livestock.
Jared Lyles, the couple’s 18-year old son, suggested that I try the Evangeline potatoes, recommending them for their sweetness in cooking. He threw in a few huge pie potatoes, as well, saying that they could grow as long as two feet in length, though they’d be string-y and tough at that point.
I left with a big box of dirty, beautiful Alba sweet potatoes, and couldn’t wait to start making delicious things with them.
Of course, they couldn’t let me leave without telling me about Yolanda’s delicious sweet potato pie, and they were kind enough to share it with me:
Here’s a recipe for sweet potato pie from Bright Star Farms’ own Yolanda Lyles, whose son Jared says is the best anywhere:
Yolanda Lyles’ Sweet Potato Pie
¾ cups of sugar
1 cup of evaporated milk
¾ cups of sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoons of vanilla
1/8 of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Cook potatoes and mash. Beat eggs, add sugar and milk and mix until creamy. Add mashed potatoes, butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour in unbaked pie shell and cook 45 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees. The pie is done when you insert a knife into the middle of the pie and if comes out clean.
Contact Bright Star Farms at (903)752-5327 for more information.
With a counter full of fat sweet potatoes, I turned to our KLTV viewers and Community friends for great recipes that their families just love, and the recipes came pouring in.
The first recipe I received was from viewer Darlene Williamson, who runs a bait shop and produce stand with her dad near Mineola, called Bear Country Bait. (Check out their Facebook page here.)
Darlene received this recipe from her mother, Arminta Eubanks, and says that before her mother pulls these loaves from the oven, someone has already bought it. She suggests eating it warm with some fresh butter.
Arminta Eubanks’ Best Sweet Potato Bread
2 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. self-rising flour
1 TBS baking powder
3 ½ C sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. (note: if you have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 4 tsp of that and 1 tsp cloves as a substitute.)
2 cups boiled, peeled, and mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C. oil
1 cup chopped pecans, if desired
½ chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are great)
¼ cup sugar (try demerara sugar for extra crunch)
In a large mixing bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, vanilla, eggs, and oil.
In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients; add to the wet ingredients.
Stir only until no lumps of flour are left and batter is combined well.
Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour in two loaf pans (or four metal coffee cans, like Arminta does!)
Another viewer, Nella Featherston, calls her recipe for sweet potato dessert squares scrumptious and suggests making them for the upcoming holidays.
Nella Featherston’s Sweet Potato Dessert Squares
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 large egg, beaten
3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes or 2 (15-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
whipped cream and pecan halves (optional)
- For Crust: Set aside 1 cup of the cake mix. Combine remaining mix with butter and egg; spread into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
- For Filling: Whisk filling ingredients until smooth; pour over crust.
- For topping, cut butter into reserved cake mix until crumbly. Stir in pecans, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the filling.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 60 to 65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool.
- Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves if desired.
Makes 16 servings
Laura Davis, a viewer from Rusk, says her sweet potato whoopie pies are the best. She loves to bake and has even won blue ribbons and a national cooking contest with her baking, hosted by none other than Paula Deen!
Laura Davis’ Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies
2 cups packed brown sugar
· 1 cup vegetable oil
· 1 1/2 cups pureed sweet potatoes
· 2 eggs
· 3 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
· 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
· 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
· 1 egg white
· 2 tablespoons milk
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 cups confectioners' sugar
· 3/4 cup shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees ,Lightly grease baking sheets.
Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, beating well. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix well.
Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees , for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.
To Make Whoopie Pie Filling: Beat egg white and mix with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar. Mix well then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
Laura’s Sweet Potato Rolls
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
· 4 tablespoons white sugar
· 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
· 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
· 3 tablespoons margarine, softened
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 2 eggs
· 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· Dissolve yeast, warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add remaining sugar, sweet potato, butter or margarine, salt, and slightly beaten eggs. Stir to mix well. Stir in 3 cups of flour. Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 3 minutes, adding just enough of remaining flour to prevent sticking. Do not knead too heavily; when smooth, shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let raise about 1 hour or longer.
Wendy Emprimo from Jacksonville loves sweet potatoes as much as the rest of us, apparently. Here’s a recipe for sweet potato fries that she says are her absolute favorite:
Wendy’s Sweet Potato Fries
1 Tbl. Vegetable Oil
1 large sweet potato; cleaned, peeled and sliced. 1 potato makes A LOT
about 2 Tbl. of taco seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place potatoes, oil and seasoning in a large Ziploc bag. Shake to coat all of the potatoes. Lay on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn fries over and bake for another 30 minutes. I dip mine in Ranch dressing.
Todd Rowell, formerly from Big Sandy and Longview, sent in his mom Mazelle’s recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole that you might like to try out this year for Thanksgiving:
Mazelle Rowell’s Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups cooked mashed sweet taters
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten up
1/2 stick melted margerine
1/3 -1/2 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
combine and mix. pour into casserole dish and bake at 350 for 35 mins.
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flower
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 stick melted butter; put on top and spread evenly.
Cook for about another 15 mins; hardens like asphalt!
The most unusual recipe submitted was from viewer Pat Mendell, and it is on my list of the next thing to try with these great sweet potatoes.
Horseradish-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2-3 T Prepared Horseradish
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1 t Salt
- 2 pinches Pepper
- 2 whole Sweet Potatoes diced Into 1/2"-1" Cubes
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Whisk together the horseradish, minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to form a thick paste.
2. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the horseradish mixture to coat. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with Silpat, parchment or aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Serve immediately.
Kirston Welch loves the crunchiness of these sweet potato hashbrowns that she makes on a regular basis, and it couldn’t be easier to do:
Kirston Welch’s Sweet Tato Hashbrowns
Fresh ground pepper
Cover sheet pan with oil, grate potatoes onto pan, salt and pepper.
Cook for 20 min, turn and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and cook another 10 mins, or longer for crunchier potatoes.
Feel free to submit your favorite sweet potato recipe to MamaSteph@kltv.com and she’ll add it to this collection! You can also share story ideas from your community, and we'll help spread the word.
Also, check out our community pages at KLTV.com for the latest news from YOUR area!
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