Ooh, it is almost time! Not much longer until this most favorite holiday side dish gets to make its yearly and highly anticipated appearance. This is one of those best-est recipes that gets requests every year. Even people who don’t typically like sweet potato or mashed potato anything become a fan of this one.
I wasn’t a huge sweet potato casserole kind of gal until I met this recipe. Instantly converted. This sweet side dish has graced both potluck tables and formal tables alike every year in our family ever since.
I would be remiss not to give Hubby credit here. He’s the guy that brought this sweet potato dish over for a holiday gathering many years ago. Hubby’s been making this dessert-like side dish since his post-college days (that would be eons ago.) He first saw it in one of his Bon Appetit mags, and I’m glad he kept the recipe. Yeah, he really did subscribe to food magazines on his own. And wine ones. And food + wine ones. But we’re talking about sweet potatoes.
None of us can agree – is this actually a side dish or a dessert? We know it’s labeled as a side dish and deserves a place next to the turkey or roast. I think it’s a dessert in disguise, with its smooth, maple-sweet interior and crisp streusel topping. The brown sugar and pecan topping is the star of this yummy dish.
My favorite thing about this? Once again, here’s something that can totally be prepped the night before. It’s true. We all have enough going on the day of a major holiday. This sweet potato dish is one less thing to worry about. I always assemble the casserole the night before, with streusel in a separate container. The day you want to serve it, just throw the prepared streusel on top and bake! How easy is that? If you haven’t yet tried making sweet potato casserole this way, you’ve gotta give it a go.
RECIPE (one 9×13 dish)
5 lb red-skinned sweet potatoes (or yams)
4 large eggs
3 T pure maple syrup
2 T vanilla extract
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp table salt
For Streusel Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cold butter in a small bowl until mixture is grainy and comes together. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Wrap each sweet potato in foil and bake at 400F for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are easily pierced by fork and very soft. Actual bake time depends on size of potatoes. Let cool enough to handle. Remove sweet potato skins, and mash potatoes well in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes until smooth and incorporated. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a buttered 9×13 dish. At this point, you can wrap tightly with cling wrap and put in fridge until ready to use.
Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over casserole. Bake at 350F until casserole is set and topping bubbles. About 1 hour. Serve warm, and enjoy!
Source: Chew Out Loud, inspired by Bon Appetit
*I always choose to cook sweet potatoes in the oven because I really like the deep roasted flavor it creates. You can also cook peeled, cubed potatoes in boiling water until very tender.
* If you want, you can make extra crumble topping, for a thicker layer of crunch on top. Up to you!