Sweet Potato Casserole

Published November 1, 2005.

Why this recipe works:

With our sweet potato casserole recipe, we wanted to get away from the fat, sugar, and spice of the traditional holiday dish and bring the sweet potatoes to the forefront. Rejecting a number of topping options for our sweet potato casserole recipe (nuts, canned pineapple, maraschino cherries,… read more

With our sweet potato casserole recipe, we wanted to get away from the fat, sugar, and spice of the traditional holiday dish and bring the sweet potatoes to the forefront. Rejecting a number of topping options for our sweet potato casserole recipe (nuts, canned pineapple, maraschino cherries, corn flakes, Rice Krispies, bread crumbs), we finally settled on a streusel made with dark brown sugar and slightly bitter pecans, which kept the sweetness to a minimum. And we cut back on the traditionally excessive amounts of sugar and cream in the filling and boosted the sweet potato flavor by roasting the potatoes.

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Serves 10 to 12

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. When sweetening the filling, keep in mind that the streusel topping is quite sweet. If you can find them, Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel sweet potatoes have the best texture for this recipe. For even cooking, buy potatoes that are uniform in size. Avoid potatoes larger than 1 1/2 pounds; they require a longer roasting time and tend to cook unevenly. The potatoes can be baked up to 2 days ahead. Scrape the flesh from the skins and refrigerate in an airtight container. To serve 4 to 6, halve all the ingredients and bake the casserole in an 8-inch-square baking dish for 35 to 40 minutes.

Ingredients

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