I remember that the first mention of this dish elicited a response similar to “Ew, sweet meat?” When I proposed making this yesterday, this very same someone said, “Oh, that’s a good one.” It is from my Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook (Read it on Internet Archive) and seems originally to have been printed on a Thank You! brand apple pie filling can. You can have this in the oven in 5 minutes if you use brown-and-serve sausage patties, canned sweet potatoes and canned apple pie filling. But, I wanted to see how it tasted with homemade everything, not to mention the ability to reduce the calories. I have some very nice ground turkey and I thought I would try it in this recipe, I baked the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes, and I used this recipe for the apple pie filling. (I used canola oil instead of butter and Splenda.)
I used a 9 X 13-inch baking pan lined with foil. I sliced the sweet potatoes and arranged them in the baking pan (mine fit exactly.) Then I formed the meat into mini meatballs. (I got 30, but only used 24). Instead of using brown sugar and dotting with butter, I added 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring and Torani Sugar-free Brown Sugar Cinnamon syrup to the apples and spooned the mixture evenly in the pan. I topped each meatball with a pecan half and popped it into a 350 degree F oven for an hour or so. I imagine this might work well in a crock-pot. The surprising part is that dividing this into 6 large servings resulted in about 400 calories! It is so warming and filling.
Just a note, I will use pork next time.