Monday, November 26, 2018

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes
Sweet potato casserole has always been my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  I make mine with a brown sugar and pecan streusel topping that has a wonderful balance of salty and sweet, with no marshmallows anywhere in sight...
It's a recipe that's evolved over the years, starting with using my mom's recipe for the longest time, until I realized that hers just wasn't working for me anymore (no offense, Mom...).  Gradual tweaking of ingredients eventually turned into a complete overhaul of the recipe to perfect the flavor and texture until settling on this year's version as the one I will always bake from now on.

I never use canned yams for my casserole, so I always start by roasting the sweet potatoes in their skin, a process that gives the potatoes a lovely caramelized flavor and makes them so tender.  And because sweet potatoes range so greatly in size, I've only noted in my recipe how many pounds are needed, rather than the number of individual potatoes.  Rather than mashing the roasted potatoes, I like to puree them in the food processor until perfectly smooth.  You can hand-mash them, but I find that some of the stringy fibers remain with hand-mashing, which can contribute an unpleasant texture to the casserole, so I far prefer the silky smoothness of the pureed potatoes.  Once smooth, I mix in a little softened butter, eggs, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  At this point, it's difficult not to just sit and eat the filling on its own, even before it's been baked.




Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes




The topping is perhaps what evolved the most over the years, with more flour and less butter, the crumbs are more... crumbly.  Like what you'd see on top of a New York style crumb cake, which is as much crumbs as it is cake.  And after years of making crumb toppings by cutting cold butter into the flour and sugar, I've come to realize from many experiments over the last year that melted butter makes a much better crumble, not only for this casserole, but also for pies and muffins as well.  It distributes more evenly throughout the flour and sugar, and just looks and tastes better after baking.  It's always best on the day it's baked, of course, as there's just no way to prevent the topping from absorbing moisture and getting soft after a few days in the refrigerator, but the leftovers are still fantastic.

To make Thanksgiving day easier, I almost always prep this dish a day in advance, keeping the topping in a separate container to sprinkle on just before baking.  It emerges from the oven piping hot, beautifully golden brown and crunchy, sweet and salty, with all those tempting buttery crumbs.  I can hardly wait for the first spoonful.




Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes




Sweet Potato Casserole
printable


Filling.

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Topping.
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
    Filling.
    Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil.  Wash the potatoes and place on the baking sheet; drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and cover tightly with another piece of foil.  Roast for one and a half hours.  Set aside to cool until cool enough to touch, remove the skins, and scoop the potato flesh into a food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Mix in the softened butter, beaten eggs, cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until incorporated.  Spread into a 9x13 pan or large gratin baking dish.

    Topping.
    In a bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt.  Add the butter, and use a fork to evenly distribute, then use your hands to rub the butter in until moist and crumbly.  Stir in the pecans.

    Bake.
    Preheat the oven to 350.  Sprinkle the topping over the filling and bake for 45 minutes; if necessary, lay a piece of foil over the top if the topping is getting too brown.

    Serves a crowd

    Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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