Ginny Brehmers Sweet Potato Casserole
Jim and I lived in Pennsylvania for a few years and it didn’t take me long to make friends with Ginny Brehmer, a fellow Mainer. Ginny was from Machias—a true Down Easter—and was a fabulous cook. She shared this delicious sweet potato casserole with me and I have made it every Thanksgiving since.
Serves8 to 10
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish, vegetable
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, vegetarian
Equipmentbaking/gratin dish, food processor
Taste and Texturebuttery, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcasserole, vegetable
- 2½ pounds sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted if potatoes are not hot
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup pecans
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter
Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish or other similar shallow baking dish.
Scrub the potatoes, cut in 2- to 3-inch chunks, and boil in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and when cool enough to handle, peel. Mash with a potato masher (you should have about 4 cups) and beat in the butter, sugar, milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Spread into the prepared dish.
In a food processor, pulse the pecans until chopped medium fine; remove. Add the brown sugar and flour to the workbowl and process to remove large lumps. Cut the butter into chunks, add to the workbowl, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the pecans and pulse once or twice just to combine. (Or you can make this topping by hand.) Sprinkle over the sweet potatoes. (The casserole can be made several hours ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before baking.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the casserole until heated through and the topping is golden, 30 to 45 minutes.
2005 Linda and Martha Greenlaw