Every once in a while, there is a recipe that makes people stop and say, “Oh wow, I NEED this recipe!” Such has been my experience with this sweet potato casserole recipe. Now, in full disclosure, I have never made this recipe myself. This is 100% B’s thing, a Thanksgiving tradition he picked up from his mom. And without fail, every time he makes this sweet potato casserole for any sort of holiday dinner, people go bonkers for it.
These photos do not do this sweet potato casserole justice:
The maple syrup shown in the photo above was not actually used in the making of this sweet potato casserole recipe. B ran to Trader Joe’s to get some missing ingredients, and when I unpacked the bag to take pics, I mistakenly thought it was part of the recipe. It is not; he just wanted pancakes for breakfast. So while I am a huge fan of the sweet potato/maple syrup combo, this is one of the few times you will ever hear me say: I don’t think maple syrup can improve upon the perfection that is this sweet potato casserole recipe. But hey, I could be wrong…if you try it out and it is fantastic, let me know, please!
After the sweet potatoes are boiled and soft, they are drained and mashed. I think the original recipe called for canned sweet potatoes but we used fresh, so it seems like either choice is fine.
Then came the first round of butter. One full stick for the sweet potato mix, and then later another full stick for the topping. If Paula Deen doesn’t already know about this recipe, I have a feeling it would be right up her alley!
Sugar, eggs, and sweetened condensed milk were blended in until it the sweet potatoes became a creamy mixture. The other photos I got from this stage of the process are a complete blur so I will leave it to your imagination. Oh, B did add a little cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg at this stage, although it is not on the original recipe.
When the sweet potato mixture is well blended, it gets evenly spread in a greased casserole dish. Then the pecan topping is supposed to get sprinkled on top.
Normally B would chop the pecans by hand using our ulu, but it was getting late and I was SOOOOOO hungry so we decided to try chopping the nuts using the coffee grinder. This decision taught us some things. The pecans were ground in such a way that when mixed with the butter, flour, and sugar, the ingredients congealed into one giant confection that could in no way be “sprinkled” as the recipe indicated. B basically had to flatten it by hand and gently coax the topping around to the edges of the pan. I am glad this all happened to him and not me, because he has giant man hands, so he didn’t have to work too hard to make the topping fit. I can’t even imagine the mess my tiny little elfin hands would have made.
The sweet potato casserole went into the oven at 420 for 15 minutes, and when we pulled it out, the topping was a crispy golden brown. (Oh, FWIW, we used gluten free flour in the topping, but the original recipe uses regular flour.)
We let the finished sweet potato casserole rest for a few minutes before serving, then dug in. MMMMMMMMMMMMM. I cannot recommend this recipe enough. I ate it for lunch and dinner the next day, it is THAT good…almost a dessert!
- 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- 1½ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Peel and chop 2 large sweet potatoes and add to pot.
- Cover potatoes with water and bring potatoes to a boil.
- When potatoes are soft, drain and return to pot.
- Mash potatoes.
- Blend in butter, sugar, salt, milk, and eggs.
- Spread sweet potato mixture evenly into greased casserole dish.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, and pecans together.
- Stir in butter.
- Spread mixture on top of sweet potato mixture.
- Bake at 420 until bubbly and brown (approximately 15 minutes.
- Can be made ahead of time and re-heated before serving.