- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Spread the salt in a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Place the potatoes on the salt. Bake for 45 minutes or until very tender. Let cool for 10 minutes. Make an incision in the skin of the potatoes and scoop out most of the flesh with a spoon, keeping about ½ inch (1 cm) at the bottom.
- Place the scooped-out flesh in a bowl. With a potato masher, crush with the cream cheese, half the cheddar (½ cup/50 g) and the chives. Stir in ½ cup (50 g) of the pecans. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back into the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese (½ cup/50 g) and pecans (¼ cup/25 g). Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. If desired, finish under the broiler.
Coarse salt is used to stabilize the potatoes while baking, but it also helps to keep the potato’s moisture during cooking. You can make this recipe without coarse salt; to stabilize the potatoes in the dish, cut a thin slice at the bottom of each one so as to flatten one side. Coarse salt can be used more than once.