16 November 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Potato Casserole

Before getting married, I didn't know sweet potato casserole existed. We ate canned yams, cooked on the stove-top with a little brown sugar and butter. It was a Thanksgiving staple. I didn't love them or hate them. I was indifferent toward the yam.

Then, I got married and discovered that people are passionate about their sweet potatoes. Some say yes to marshmallow, and some say absolutely NO to them (I would jump on that bandwagon). For some people, this dish is defined by pouring the canned yams into a dish and topping them with butter and marshmallow. For my husband's family, that was not the case. The sweet potato concoction which they enjoyed was a gooey, sweet dish that had things like nuts and coconut in it. They loved it. I didn't.

Then came 2005, the year Eric worked in retail and we had to stay in our little southeastern PA apartment for Thanksgiving with no family or friends to visit. Black Friday ruled our Thanksgiving that year. Eric still wanted sweet potato casserole. Imagine my happiness when I discovered that you could make this dish in a way that wasn't oozing with thick, syrupy goo. We accidentally caught a segment of The 700 Club just before Thanksgiving, and that is where we found this recipe (of all places). They were making this slightly healthier version that contains significantly less sugar than most recipes (though it is still plenty sweet). The good news for my sweet husband is that I now look forward to sweet potato casserole as much as he does, and for all of you who actually enjoy the flavor of sweet potatoes, you will actually be able to taste them if you make this recipe. Let me know if you try it!

Sweet Potato Casserole

8 C sweet potato pulp (4 large sweet potatoes) **
1/2 C butter, very soft
1 1/2 t salt
1 egg
3 T milk or cream


1/2 C butter, just softened
1 C brown sugar
1 C oats
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

**Alternatively, use 4 C sweet potato pulp and 4 C butternut squash pulp (squeeze water out of it first)

Grease sides and bottom of large casserole dish. Set aside. In large bowl, combine sweet potato pulp (skins removed), butter, salt, egg and milk. Blend with electric mixer until fluffy and spread into casserole dish.

1 1/2 Hours before serving, pre-heat oven to 375. Combine topping ingredients in medium bowl with fork. Gently toss topping over sweet potato mixture. Bake until topping is slightly brown and bubbly, 45-60 minutes. Allow to cook and set for 20 minutes before serving.

Note: I bake my sweet potatoes the day before Thanksgiving, allow them to cool and then assemble the sweet potato portion of the casserole. It refrigerates overnight (covered). I add the topping and bake it the day it is being served. If you choose this technique, your casserole will likely take longer to bake because the mixture is cold, but it simplifies things the day of your gathering.

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