Heat a large pot or dutch over medium heat. Immediately add the butter. Once melted, add the sweet potatoes and salt. Cook until the surface is lightly browned and potatoes are fragrant, stir frequently to prevent sticking, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Carefully add the water and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 to 13 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot. Turn off the heat.
Use a potato masher to crush the sweet potatoes into a smooth puree with some small chunks. Alternatively, add to a food processor and pulse until very smooth.
Add the heavy whipping cream, maple syrup (if using), cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add more water or vegetable stock if a thinner consistency is desired. Rewarm mashed sweet potatoes if needed.
Recipe Yield: About 4 cups
Serving Size: ½ cup
Using pumpkin pie spice: Add 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Using vegetable stock: For a more savory taste, add unsalted vegetable stock instead of water.
Make it Dairy-Free and Vegan: Use margarine, olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil instead of butter. Substitute heavy whipping cream with canned coconut milk.
Make it Paleo: Use olive oil, avocado oil, or ghee instead of butter. Use coconut milk instead of cream.