The sweetened potato casserole is one of the traditional Finnish vegetarian Christmas dishes. It takes a long time to prepare as the resting time is long, but it's worth the wait as that's when the casserole gets its special sweetness. You can prepare this well in advance and freeze for Christmas. I have combined the casserole today with some simple sides: honey-glazed baby carrots and steamed purple sprouting broccoli. These will all make nice additions to any veggie Christmas.
The sweetened potato casserole (1 large or 4 small ramekins):
About 2dl cooking water of the potatoes
2tsp maple syrup
Peel and boil the potatoes until soft and save about 2dl of the cooking water. Mash the potatoes and let them cool slightly. Place the mash into an oven dish and add the flour and the cooking water to make a smooth mash. Cover the dish with foil and let stand in a warm place for about four hours. I put mine to the oven at 50C. This is the phase when the mash gets sweetened.
After this has been done, add the milk, melted butter and syrup, and season with salt. Then either use a large oven dish to make one casserole or divide the mix into four small ramekins. Don't fill the dishes fully as the casserole will move while heating and could easily boil over.
Bake the casserole at 150C for about 2 hours. After this treatment you should be left with a soft and sweetened casserole that can be combined with any veggie dishes.
The honey-glazed baby carrots:
150g baby topped carrots
50ml vegetable stock
Heat butter in a pan and quickly saute the carrots in there. Add vegetable stock and bring it to a light boil. Then add the honey and thyme and continue cooking until the carrots are al dente – not too soft and not too hard either. That's at least how I like them best.
The steamed purple sprouting broccoli:
230g purple sprouting broccoli
Steam the purple sprouting broccoli for about 10 minutes until they are also al dente. Take care that they don't get too soft.
Serve all components together for nice sweet and savoury flavours and combine with a nice wine. Enjoy!