Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crunch
My friend Jenny Mandel at Workman Publishing raved about a sweet potato casserole she enjoyed at family Thanksgiving dinners in Brooklyn. So I pressed her for the recipe, thinking it might be a New York version of the sweet potato casserole we know Down South. When Jenny searched for the source of that recipe she found out it was a Southern recipe after all. Here’s just such a Southern casserole, filled with mashed sweet potatoes and topped with a crunchy brown sugar and pecan topping.
BIG BATCH: Boil twice as many sweet potatoes and double the remaining ingredients to make two casseroles.
Sweet potato casserole is pretty forgiving, so it’s no wonder it has been a “What can I bring?” favorite for years. The trick is to bake it before you leave home, then cover the casserole with aluminum foil and wrap it in a towel to keep warm. Your Thanksgiving host will thank you—oven space on this holiday is always hard to find.
Because it’s a little sticky, what with brown sugar in the topping, place the casserole in a box lined with a towel to keep it from shifting in the car.
If you do need to reheat the casserole, cover the top with aluminum foil and bake it in a 300°F oven, for about 15 minutes.
To serve a hot sweet potato casserole right from the oven, assemble the casserole in advance and refrigerate it, covered; it will keep for one to two days. Tote the unbaked casserole and bake it when you arrive. If you transport the unbaked casserole in a cooler straight from the refrigerator, you may need to add 10 minutes to the total baking time.
Preparation Time - Text35 to 40 minutes
Cooking Time25 min
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Equipmentbaking/gratin dish, electric mixer
Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, crunchy, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcasserole
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- Vegetable oil spray, for misting the baking dish
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, or ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
- ¾ packed cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
2007 Anne Byrn