It isn’t Thanksgiving without Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet potatoes are whipped with just enough brown sugar and cream, then finished with a pecan praline topping. This dish is delicious, simple to prepare, and can be made ahead of time. The perfect answer to, “What can I bring?”
This isn’t your crazy sweet, candy like sweet potato casserole, rather it’s sweetened and spiced just enough to bring out the flavor of the sweet potatoes. The topping is incredibly delicious. I find it very difficult not to eat it before topping the casserole. It’s amazing what an effect cream and brown sugar has on me. To keep it as a side and not a dessert, I make just enough to cover the top.
A key factor in this recipe is to go by the weight of the sweet potatoes. In this photo I show two potatoes, one being 9 ounces and the other 15 ounces. If a recipe calls for 5 potatoes and you use small ones and the recipe was made using large ones, the recipe won’t come out right.
This recipe uses 5 pounds. The trick is to bake the sweet potatoes until they are very soft. I bake mine at 425 degrees for an hour or so, depending on the size of the potatoes. They come out blistered with dark spots being the sugar that oozed out while baking.
I find sweet potatoes to be stringy at times. To create a smooth puree, I use my food processor (affiliate link). Peel the potatoes and put the flesh into the food processor and pulse to make it smooth. You may need to do this in batches. If you don’t have a food processor and don’t mind a rougher texture, just mash it in a bowl. Just mash it very well.
Transfer the puree into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and whisk it until combined. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
Now for the topping…
To make the topping, whisk the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Continue to whisk until it starts to foam – about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and a pinch of salt until it starts to bubble. Be careful because it can come to a boil quickly and bowl over. Stir in the pecans to coat. Carefully pour on top of casserole covering the top. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed.
This Sweet Potato Casserole is decadent. It’s rich and just sweet enough to be a side dish. It’s definitely not an everyday dish. It’s something you serve to impress as it is like a little piece of heaven on your plate. Please give this a try for Thanksgiving or any day you want your meal to be special.
This can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to cook. Take out and bring to room temperature before baking. Check it after 45 minutes and if not puffed and golden, add a few more minutes.
1 hour to bake sweet potatoes and 20 - 30 minutes to scoop, mix, and make topping. Cook time is 45 to bake.
Velvety sweet potatoes with a delicious pecan praline topping, this dish will be a holiday favorite. Simple ingredients, simple to prepare, and can be made ahead.
- 5 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 cup half and half or light cream
- 1 stick butter, melted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake sweet potatoes until very tender - 60 to 70 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Scoop out flesh and transfer into bowl of food processor. Process until smooth. Alternatively, mash the sweet potatoes very well until smooth.
- Scoop sweet potato puree into a large bowl and add in half and half, butter, brown sugar, eggs, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk together until combined.
- Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
- To make topping:
- Whisk the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved.
- Continue to cook until it starts to foam - about 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the cream and a pinch of salt and continue whisking until it starts to bubble. Be careful because it can come to a boil quickly and bowl over.
- Stir in the pecans to coat.
- Carefully pour on top of casserole covering the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed.