Sweet Potato Casserole Two Ways
This year, I’m having a (semi) Asian-themed Thanksgiving.
My brother is going Italian.
And for the first time, we won’t be celebrating together.
One of the many things that 2020 has taken from us is the ability to gather with friends and family at the times that matter most.
It’s such a foreign concept to spend the holidays apart that my 8-year-old daughter keeps questioning, “you mean it’s just us? There will only be us?” on a regular basis.
And while it took some time to come to terms with it, I’ve found I’m strangely okay with it.
For one, I never loved turkey all that much.
And though I’m fortunate enough to have one of those families that actually enjoys spending ridiculous amounts of time together, I’m a little excited to host a holiday with just my husband and my girls.
It means I may even have time to cook this year, and do it with my girls (who have requested Asian dumplings be included in the spread).
But I can’t deny that it won’t feel quite like Thanksgiving.
And knowing that it won’t be the same has made me more nostalgic than ever for all the normal holidays I’ve enjoyed with my family over the years, going way back to when I was a girl watching in awe as my mom whipped up an entire Thanksgiving dinner with a smile and far too little help.
So in honor of her and all those normal holidays, I thought I’d share one of her signature Thanksgiving recipes: her Sweet Potato Casserole.
I’ve adapted this recipe over the years (and cut down on a cup of sugar or two :) ), but nothing’s quite like the original.
But just in case you prefer the savory route, I’m including my updated recipe as well.
Check them out below and let me know - what are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole
10 cups mashed sweet potatoes (approx. 5 lbs)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350º.
Puree potatoes in food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients and pour into large rectangle casseroled dish sprayed with Pam.
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
6 Tbsp butter, melted
Mix until crumbled. Place on top of potatoes. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until browned.
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole:
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed well (about 3 medium)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 small shallots, finely minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 ounces Gruyere or Emmenthaler (milder) cheese, about ½ cup, finely grated
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup crispy bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pierce each several times with a fork. Bake until tender when pierced with tip of a paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size). Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cut cooled potatoes in half and scoop out sweet potato flesh into a food processor. Process for 30 seconds or until completely smooth. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons butter, reserved shallot mixture, egg, cream and cheese. Process for another 30 seconds until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer sweet potato mixture to a 1.5 quart baking dish. Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with reserved rosemary and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.
Alternate serving tip: Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe mixture into ramekins. Reduce baking time to 20 minutes.