I struggled for a few attempts at getting these fries the way I wanted – crispy, not soggy and sad. I wanted to be able to hold a fry upright and not have it bend over in the middle. I tried multiple types of orange fleshed sweet potatoes, multiple baking methods, and different methods of preparation. I found that garnet sweet potatoes will yield slightly “mushier” fries than jewel, but perhaps the most important factor is not to crowd the baking pan (it will prevent the fries from crisping up). The experimentation was well worth it, and now I can have a batch of hot, crispy sweet potato fries ready to eat with only 5-10 minutes of prep and roughly half an hour of baking time. Considering that COVID is preventing a lot of restaurant dining (and therefore access to sweet potato fries), this was a win in my book. Even my harshest critic (our 10 month old, Adeline) loves them. I leave a few of the fries unsalted, break them into small pieces, and she scarfs them right down. None of them end up on the floor. Pair these with my smoky spiced ketchup (posted just yesterday!) and you won’t regret it. Try them this weekend with your 4th of July celebrations. Cheers!
SWEET POTATO FRIES
with guidance from The Kitchn
2.5 lbs jewel* sweet potatoes (about 2 large potatoes or several smaller ones)
2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt, more/less to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut each one in half lengthwise. Trim the ends and sides of each potato a tiny bit so it resembles more of a rectangle. Cut into fries- approximately ½** inch sides and 4 inches long, or however long the potato is.
- In a large bowl, toss the fries in potato starch or cornstarch until evenly coated. Add the oil and toss for another minute or so.
- Spread out the fries on each prepared baking sheet so that there is space between every single fry. If they are crowded or touching while baking, they will not crisp up.
- Bake for 20 min, then check on the fries to see if the edges are starting to brown. If they are not, bake for 5-10 more minutes and check again. When the fries are starting to brown, go ahead to the next step.
- Using tongs, flip over each one of the fries, then swap the position of the pans and bake for approximately 10 more min, or until crispy.
- Remove from the oven and generously season with sea salt. Let cool for a few minutes before attempting to transfer to a bowl, platter, or however you want to serve them.
*you can use garnet potatoes as a back up if you can’t find jewel potatoes, though they may turn out less crispy
**many recipes call for ¼ inch sides, which also works. If you do this, you will probably need less baking time. I find that the ½ inch cut yields less “floppy” fries.