What’s Thanksgiving without an amazing sweet potato casserole! I grew up with the marshmallow topping and love it but what I love even more is this pecan topping. OMG! It is to die for! This dish could almost be dessert.
My other favorite part of this recipe is that I use fresh sweet potatoes and not the canned ones. I’m a little squeamish about those (like Denise touching raw chicken fat!).
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 1 hr (mostly baking the potatoes); Cook Time – 45 min
Ingredients for about 12-14 servings:
7 large sweet potatoes (about 6 lbs worth)
5 large eggs, beaten
5 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1 t freshly grated nutmeg (please do the whole nutmeg and grate with a microplane)
1/2 t freshly cracked black pepper
6 T butter, melted
Cooking spray or butter to grease your pan (13×9 dish that you are proud enough to serve out of)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup melted butter
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Be sure to poke a couple of forks into the potatoes so they don’t explode. The last thing you need to do during the busy holidays is clean an oven!
While those are cooking, you can get the other ingredients together.
When the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven. Let cool enough until you can handle them. Cut them open and squeeze out the insides into a bowl and discard the skin. Mash the sweet potatoes until they are as lump free as possible.
Add the other ingredients (not the pecan topping stuff yet). Mix together until the mixture looks fairly smooth.
Place in a 350 degree oven. It will take about 45-50 minutes to bake.
While that gets started, you can mix the ingredients for the pecan topping. About 15 minutes into the baking process, remove the casserole and gently put the pecan topping on. Return to the oven for the additional 30 minutes. If for some reason the pecans start getting a little too toasty, gently set a piece of aluminum foil on top.
NOTE: If you like marshmallows instead, put those on during the last 10 minutes of cook time instead of the pecans. My family likes both so we often will do 1/2 and 1/2 on the same casserole dish. If you choose to do that, you’ll need 1/2 of the pecan topping ingredients above too.
Cook until it is getting puffed up a bit like a soufflé. Depending on the depth of your dish, the size of your potatoes, that might take a little longer than 45 minutes. This dish is best if served soon after removing from the oven. It is one of the last things we put in the oven to cook. Other Thanksgiving items hold better when there is limited oven space.
See note above about topping changes.