Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sweet Potato Casserole with Orange Zest and Pecan Streusel

Sweet Potato Casserole - it's always been my most favorite side dish at Thanksgiving.  It's a close tie, really, with the cranberry sauce, and honestly, the cranberry sauce is usually the only reason I even bother eating turkey.  There are so many yummy side dishes that the turkey is just a vehicle for dipping into cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes.

But the sweet potatoes.  I could eat a whole plate of them on their own.  Although, I wouldn't complain if there was a little freshly baked, bone-in ham on the side of my plate, too.  Ham wins over turkey every time.

I've always made sweet potato casserole with pecan and brown sugar streusel topping - no marshmallows - because that's the way my mom made hers.  I've never cared for marshmallow topping, and fortunately, neither does Jamie, so I can make it exactly the way we both enjoy it.

This year, I wanted to try something a little different, so I added freshly grated orange zest to brighten up the sweetness of the potatoes and crumbly topping.

The morning after Thanksgiving, I mixed a big spoonful of the leftover casserole, including the topping, with a couple of eggs, some milk, and a little flour and baking powder and spooned it into our waffle maker, for sweet potato waffles.

Those sweet potato waffles were such a homey breakfast to start off our long holiday weekend, and I'm feeling a little sad this morning that the weekend is almost over.  But that means that it's officially the season of Christmas, which is my favorite holiday.

One Year Ago:   Pumpkin Pie Eggnog with Bourbon
Two Years AgoRoasted Butternut Squash and the First Day of December

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350.  Rub the potatoes with the olive oil and wrap each in a piece of foil.  Place on a baking sheet and bake the potatoes until very soft, about 1 1/2 hours.  Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin - it should come off very easily.

In your food processor, puree the potatoes, melted butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest until smooth.  Spread into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and salt.  Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in until coarse and crumbly.  Stir in the pecans.  Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes.  (At this point, the casserole can be baked and served right away, or covered and refrigerated up to two days before baking.)

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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