I am gonna try something different tonight. I have cooked a lot in my life, in a few really cool places. But I have never ever tried to blog a recipe. Mostly because when I cook, I am a lot like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (ehem, you can stop laughing now, no I am not a lady of the night and I don’t cook in thigh high boots… But Brian might like that…) I am a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl. I put a little of this, a dash of that… Till it taste right. Usually it does, ask my husband though, sometimes it hasn’t.
This recipe is my favorite way of doing sweet potatoes for the holidays, and is in honor of a bachelor friend who thought that the only way to make a sweet potato casserole involved using the canned variety. So, to he who shall remain nameless, start with real sweet potatoes and put them in a hot oven set to roast on a sheet pan. The oven should be set to roast, if it has that setting, at 350 degrees, and roast on a sheet pan till they are soft to the touch. (Be careful, they will be hot)
This time will depend on how big the tator is to start with. Time to roast is typically from 20-50 minutes. And this step gives the finished product a wonderful deep flavor. And a word to those who hate dishes, cover that sheet pan in foil, it saves on clean up later.
Once, the potatoes are roasted and have COOLED… Yes this takes time, and you can slip the skins off while the potatoes are hot but you need to be much more careful to not burn your hands, BUT the point is to get all the skins off the potatoes. But, looks like I missed a piece of skin in my picture. So, it won’t kill you or affect the taste and the skins are good for you but the finished product is smoother without them.
Once all the skins are removed then place the potatoes in a blender like a Vitamix or in a bowl and use hand mixer to make the custard. The custard for the sweet potato casserole is made up of roasted sweet potatoes, heavy cream, eggs, fresh ground nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, canned whole pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix), chipotle pepper, vanilla, and salt. Then blend/beat till smooth.
Now, here is where I taste and make sure my custard taste right to me. (Yes, I am a doctor and yes, I just said I tasted food with raw eggs in it, but I hate serving cooked food that taste bad, so I take a small taste to check flavor – feel free to leave this step out.). After tasting, place custard in a 9″x9″ foil line baking dish. Again, the foil saves so much on clean up down the line.
Now, we make the topping. Melt one stick of butter, and mix with 1 cup of chopped nuts (I like pecans than have been lightly toasted in a pan to bring out their flavor). Also, mix with the nuts and butter the brown sugar. You will also need a pinch of salt, and you may need 1-3 tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture. This is best mixed with your hand.
Then, this mixture will need to be spread over the top of your custard mixture, again best with your hand. And if you have time, let this sit for a few minutes the topping will spread and bake more evenly. Once you are ready to bake, then bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes till top is brown and bubbly.
The benefit of this recipe is this can be frozen once the topping has been placed over the top and held for up to a week.
Hope y’all enjoy this as much as my family does.
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 can whole pumpkins ( you could use the same amount from any small roasted squash or pumpkin but I could not find a roasting pumpkin this year)
1/2 – 1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (you can adjust this to your own taste)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. chipotle pepper spice or 1/2 tsp. chipotle pepper in Adobe sauce minced fine (my secret ingredient – it cuts the sweet)
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
Salt to taste
For the topping:
1/2- 1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped toasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)
May need 1-3 tablespoons of flour to thicken if too runny or wet feeling
One final note, as a mom and a MD, I do try to encourage healthy eating habits and good lifestyle choices for my family. And no this is not a typical menu item for me and mine. This is holiday meal choice as it is loaded with heavy cream, butter, sugar, etc. and as I try to teach my children treats are OK as treats.
But, if you have diabetes, like my mom there are a few tricks, aka substitutes you can make. Try using low fat sour cream instead of the heavy cream in the custard. Use 1 egg and chicken broth or use egg beaters instead. Add more chipotle and less brown sugar, or use less brown sugar and substitute truvia instead.
In the topping, use chicken broth with a little butter and 1/2 truvia and 1/2 brown sugar.
I hope this helps as you plan for those with special dietary needs in you holiday meal.