YouFoodies, I hope everyone inclined to celebrate the extreme indulgence of Thanksgiving had a safe and happy holiday. Mine was absolutely blissful; all the food was delicious, and the company, while few in number, was most agreeable in quality. My beer-brined turkey was about the moistest and most flavorful thing I’ve ever cooked.
My homemade stuffing an absolute delight. The cranberry relish was almost entirely ignored (more for me). The mashed potatoes weren’t quite right, but my Irish family ate them anyway and without complaint. Brian’s mom even made four pies (perhaps excessive considering there were only four people for dinner, but who’s going to complain about surplus pie?), and I made fresh whipped cream!
My family hasn’t done the canned-yams-with-marshmallows thing in years, since we discovered and promptly modified a recipe for something else. I couldn’t begin to tell you where it originated, but it has been dearly loved ever since. Honestly, it’s a good thing thanksgiving only happens only once a year, or my entire family would be obese and diabetic. Seriously. I went through an unreal amount of butter.
What follows is a three-step recipe; If you’re preparing it for a holiday I’d suggest prepping your sweet potatoes in advance of the big day. Day of, you’ll make the filling and bake that awhile, then add the topping and finish it off.
Sweet Potato Bake (Approx. 8 servings)
- 3c fresh sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 1/3c salted butter, melted (if you use unsalted, consider adding 1/2t salt)
- 1/2c sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2c milk (or heavy or whipping cream, if you really want to do the thing)
- 1t vanilla extract
- 2/3c salted butter, melted
- 2c brown sugar (I like to mix light and dark)
- 2/3c flour
- 1/2tsp cinnamon
- 1c pecans, chopped
Prep work for the sweet potatoes is fairly straightforward; peel them, removing any bits that look brown or generally gnarly. Give a quick rinse and dice into approximately 1″ cubes. Put in a pot, adding enough water to cover all the cubes by about an inch, and boil until the chunks grow soft and have changed color to be slightly darker and more orange. If you’re doing this work in advance, mash them into an airtight container and refrigerate; should keep for several days. If you’re doing this all at once, proceed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, melt your butter. Mix in sugar, sweet potatoes, eggs and milk. Unless you keep your house as cold as I keep mine (butter was re-solidifying in my kitchen, no lie), this should be creamy and smooth. Pour into your favorite casserole dish; I prefer glass/ceramic for this, as it will get a little crusty on the edges and you will not want to scrape it off metal cookware and risk damaging its finish. Something in the realm of 7×9 and at least 1.5″ deep will do nicely; the smaller the dish, the thicker your filling and topping layers will be.
Bake approximately 40 minutes uncovered; the mixture will begin to stiffen but may not solidify entirely, which is fine because it’s not done yet. While that’s baking, prepare the topping.
Melt butter and mix in sugar. Add flour and cinnamon; the mixture should be somewhat clumpy. Add pecans, mixing with a fork. It should resemble a sticky crumble. When your filling has finished in the oven, crumble the topping on; I like to do this with my hands for ease of getting it into corners and such; you can also pat it down gently, taking care not to press too hard and upset your filling, which will be incredibly hot.
Return to your 350 degree oven for another 10-15 minutes; the nuts will begin to brown and the topping will form a delicious sugary crust. You’ll smell it when it’s done, and if your home is anything like mine, the sugar wolves will be waiting at the oven. As usual, a finished product won’t be appearing here. Thank the sugar wolves.
Other people’s things I might try with my leftover sweet potato:
- Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup (thismamacooks.com)
- Autumn Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash (gritandbareit.com)
- Sweet Potato Pasta (stronglikemycoffee.com)
- Day 302 – Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Praline Glaze (yearofhealthierliving.wordpress.com)
- Brown-Butter-Sage-Roasted-Winter-Squash-Sweet-Potato Lasagna (tgipaleo.com)