Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 45-60 minutes. Test the largest sweet potato by inserting a fork into the middle.
Use tongs to peel the loosened skin off the hot sweet potatoes. Then place the sweet potato flesh in a large food processor.
Add the butter, garlic clove, and salt. Cover the food processor and pulse until the sweet potatoes are very smooth.
Test the texture of the mashed sweet potatoes. Then add 2 tablespoons, or up to 1/3 cup, half & half to the mash and puree again until well combined. *Some sweet potatoes are very moist, so you may not want to add all the half & half.
Serve warm as-is, or top with parsley, candied pecans, or butter.
BAKED: You can also place the mashed sweet potatoes into a 2 quart baking dish and bake again to crisp up the top. This usually takes 15+ minutes.Instant Pot? You can cook the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) if you don't have room in your oven. However, it takes almost the same amount of time, as it does to bake them in the oven, and you may not be able to fit the full 4.5 pounds of sweet potatoes in your pot. I would only do this, if you don't have access to an oven. IP Cooking Instructions:
Place the sweet potatoes on a rack in the Instant Pot.
Pour 1 cup of water into the pot.
Lock the lid into place. Then pressure cook on high for 35 minutes.
Perform a Quick Release and proceed with the recipe above.