Monday, November 23, 2015

HEAVEN ON EARTH aka Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar & Pecan Streusel Topping

These potatoes. They're uh, not good for you. 

But what they lack in nutrition they make up for in sweet, nutty streusel topping.

And BELIEVE YOU ME THEY ARE WORTH IT. I've been eating them for as many Thanksgivings as I've had the ability to form memories, and I'm still here. I also plan to eat them for every future Thanksgiving forever and ever AMEN. 

I tried to secure the original original recipe, but it's on a food-stained, torn-out page of Bon Appetit and smooshed between the pages of one of my mom's cookbooks. In good news, it's also on the internet

The way our family makes this is pretty close to the Bon Appetit recipe, with a few exceptions. One, we increase the amount of streusel for a topping-to-tater ratio that is actually probably illegal. Two, we change up the preparation a bit, including using a hand mixer instead of a food processor to puree the potatoes. (My mom doesn't have a food processor, and my lil baby processor would only fit about 3 spuds.)

The entire recipe is fairly painless, with the exception of peeling 5 pounds of potatoes. No way around that, unfortunately. But the reward is GREAT and SUGARY and BUTTERY. So get to peelin'. Or task someone else with gettin' to peelin'.

Either way, these are a welcome addition to any Thanksgiving spread. We're still a few days out from the big event, so check out the 'make-ahead' options below if you're looking to get a head start.

Also! Here are a few other holiday recipes to round out your feast:
AppetizersEndive w/ Smoked Salmon & Boursin CheeseSalted Rosemary Marcona AlmondsCaprese Bites w/ Balsamic DrizzleBrie-Apple Bites w/ Pecans & Honey
MainsApple & Cranberry Studded Stuffing w/ Quinoa & SausageApple & Cranberry Studded Stuffing w/ Sausage (no quinoa) 
CocktailRosemary & Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail
DessertsEasy Pumpkin Pudding Cranberry Lemon CakePumpkin Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar & Pecan Streusel Topping
[original recipe by Bon Appetit

Options for Make-Ahead
Option 1: Spread the potatoes in the pan, add the streusel topping, and refrigerate until ready to bake. 
Option 2: Spread the potatoes in the pan and make the streusel topping. Refrigerate both separately. Once ready to bake, sprinkle the streusel on the potatoes. 
Option 3: Complete the recipe (baking the casserole for 1 hour), refrigerate, and reheat in the oven until heated through. 

5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 
3 tsp kosher salt, divided into 1 tsp and 2 tsp
4 large eggs
3 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup roughly chopped pecans (can up to 1.5 cups if you'd like)
1 stick chilled butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Add the cubed sweet potatoes to a large pot. Cover with water, and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. 

Drain the potatoes, and return to the hot pot. Let sit for at least 5 minutes to steam off any excess liquid. For the next step, you can either transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl, or blend them right in the pot. 

Use a hand mixer to puree the potatoes until no chunks remain. (If you don't have a hand mixer, you can use a food processor.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of pureed potatoes. Mix once more with the hand mixer until the liquid is incorporated into the potatoes. 

Scrape the potatoes into a greased 13 by 9 inch pan (glass or metal). Use a spatula to evenly smooth the top. 

In another small bowl, make the streusel topping by combining the brown sugar, pecans and cold butter cubes. Use your fingers to work the ingredients together and break up the bits of butter. Continue until the mixture resembles the texture of clumpy, wet sand. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the potatoes. 

Place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour until top is bubbly. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. (Topping will harden a bit.) 


  1. Do you think it would keep if I made it and froze it? Then bake it in the oven?

    1. oh no, just seeing this comment - sorry if it's too late! but yes - this keeps well in the freezer. hope it turned out okay for you!


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