For the pone:

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger

1/2 cup molasses

6 cups grated sweet potatoes

Juice and zest of 1 orange

Pinch salt

For the sauce:

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur

Fresh blackberries for garnish

To make the pone: In a large skillet heat the butter, sugar, nutmeg, ginger and molasses until melted. Add the grated sweet potatoes, orange zest and juice and let simmer over low heat, carefully stirring the potatoes as they cook. The object is to cook slowly, stirring the mixture until it achieves a rich brown color, about 40 minutes. The mixture will become very thick. After cooking, keep warm in the oven.

To make the sauce: In a saucepan reduce the heavy cream by almost half; add the butter and orange zest. Remove from the heat and add the Grand Mariner.

Serve warm over the sweet potato pone, garnished with fresh blackberries.

Serves 4 to 6.



ASHLEY'S SWEET POTATO PONE

2½ cups milk

1½ tablespoons vanilla extract

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and

coarsely grated

4 eggs

2½ cups granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

½ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Pour the milk and vanilla into the prepared casserole dish. Stir the grated sweet potatoes into the milk; this will prevent the potatoes from turning dark.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs well. Gradually add the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves, mixing well after each addition.

Add the nutmeg, zest, and pecans. Mix until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour the egg mixture into the potato mixture and combine well. Dot the top with butter. Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil, then uncover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the pudding is set. Remove the dish from the oven. Let the pone stand for 20 to30 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.