Sweet Potato Casserole

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I have made sweet potato casserole for about 10 years. My southern husband’s aunt gave me her “never fail” recipe and I began tweaking it here and there to make it my own.  Unfortunately what happened is that I never made it the same way twice – and that isn’t always a good thing 🙂

Recently, my friend Sue shared a Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with me from Cook’s Illustrated.  It is the best I have ever made!  I have stopped “tweaking” it and will follow this one – with one exception.  The recipe calls for nutmeg, and my sweet husband just doesn’t care for the spice, so I try and leave it out when I can.

This takes a little effort – but every bite will be worth it.  Not to mention the kudos from family and friends!  Be sure and take time to bake fresh potatoes rather than using canned.  The result of the roasted potatoes is unmatched.   And – you won’t miss the marshmallows – I promise!


Bon Appétit’!

Sweet Potato Casserole  Serves 10 to 12

7 pounds (6 to 8 medium) sweet potatoes

Streusel Topping

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted cutter, cut into 5 pieces and softened
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup pecans

Filling

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • For the sweet potatoes: Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Poke sweet potatoes several times with paring knife and space evenly on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake potatoes, turning them once, until they are very tender and can be squeezed easily with tongs, usually about 1 to 1 ½ hours.   Remove potatoes from oven and cut in half lengthwise to let steam escape; cool at least 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  • For the streusel: While potatoes are baking, butter a 9” x 13” baking dish. Pulse flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until blended, about four 1-second pulses. Sprinkle butter pieces over flour mixture and pulse until crumbly mass forms, six to eight 1-second pulses. Sprinkle nuts over mixture and pulse until combine but some large nut pieces remain, four to six 1-second pulses.  Transfer streusel to medium size bowl and return empty work bowl to processor.
  • Once potatoes have cooled slightly, use spoon to scoop flesh into large bowl; you should have about 8 cups. Transfer potato flesh to food processor. (A Kitchen Aid mixer or hand mixer will work as well.)
  • For the filling: Add melted butter, salt, pepper, vanilla and lemon juice to potatoes in the food processor and process until smooth about 20 seconds.  It is okay to process a little less and leave some chunks.  Adds some character to your casserole!  Taste for sweetness: because natural sugar levels in sweet potatoes vary greatly depending on variety, size, and season, it’s important to taste the filling before adding sugar.  If the filling is bland, add up to 4 tablespoons sugar; if the potatoes are naturally sweet, you may opt to omit the sugar altogether. ( I don’t ever add sugar, we prefer the taste of the potato without any added sugar) With processor running, add egg yolks and pour half-and-half through feed tube and process until blended, about 20 seconds.
  • To assemble and bake casserole:  Pour filling into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle with streusel, breaking up any large pieces with your fingers.  Bake until topping is well browned and filling is slightly puffy around the edges, 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

My Notes:

  • To serve 4 to 6 people, halve all ingredients and bake the casserole in an 8- inch square baking dish for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • If you can find them, Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel sweet potatoes have the best texture for this recipe
  • The potatoes can be baked up to 2 days ahead. Scrape flesh from the skins and refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • Sweet potatoes are great with turkey or chicken, but really just delicious with ham!

Romans is one of my favorite books of the Bible and contains many life verses for me.  Romans 8 is a chapter I read often.  I encourage you to click on this link and you can read this verse or many more!

Romans 8:31-32   “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

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