Thanksgiving is this week, and our table would never be complete without Sweet Potato Casserole!
(And at the risk of being called a food snob, there will be no marshmallows on my sweet potato casserole.) This Pecan Crumble Topping makes the whole dish kind of confusing though. I’m never quite sure if I’m eating a vegetable or dessert! (Of course you know I choose to say I’m eating a vegetable!)
I’m all about doing things the easiest way I know how, while still making it as delicious as possible.
Here’s how I cook my sweet potatoes
First, wash them, and then cut them into slices, about an inch or two thick. (No peeling please, ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Next, I go find my trusty pressure cooker. I say “go find” because my kitchen is so small I have to store things in unusual places. This one happened to be in a cabinet in my garage. I used to keep it on the floor in my pantry and hide chocolate in it. Hmmm… I think that might be an idea worth revisiting.
Put about a cup of water into the pressure cooker. I put my potatoes into the steamer basket so that all the good nutrients wouldn’t get drained away with the water.
Sprinkle a few robust pinches of salt over the potatoes.
Cover, lock, and turn to the high setting. Turn your stove to medium-high. When steam starts coming out, turn the stove down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove from stove. If you’re not in a hurry, let it cool naturally. (It will stay locked until the pressure has gone down so you won’t blow up your kitchen). If you’re in a hurry, very carefully take it to the sink and run it under water. That will bring the pressure down more quickly.
You may be wondering why I’m using a pressure cooker here. Well, because I was in a super hurry and pressure cookers a so much faster than any other way of cooking. And to my understanding, healthier too. So I’m going to be trying to remember that I own this sweet machine and use it more often. This is the pressure cooker I use, except it looks like now the steamer basket is larger, which is cool.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just boil your potatoes and let them cool, then come on back and pick up where we left off.
While the potatoes are cooking, make your topping.
And now I have to confess that while mine were cooking, I cleaned my kitchen from a previous mess. (I mean a big, big mess!) How did I do that when there was a topping to be made, you ask?
I cheated! My topping was all made and in the freezer! Woot!
That’s one thing I love about this recipe. You can make both parts, freeze them separately, then just assemble them into a casserole when you’re ready. I make extra topping and keep it in the freezer to use for roasted sweet potatoes throughout the year. Imagine my excitement when I found that I had some all made!
I mean this was a make-or-break moment. I was so busy that morning, I called my son by the dog’s name. (At CVS… in front of people. And the dog’s name is not something that doubles as a person’s name. His name is Friday!) Oh my word. How embarrassing! A mom just shouldn’t be that busy. But he didn’t seem to mind. (Actually, that may explain why he didn’t answer right away.) I did though, so it was a big relief come home to start cooking and find this topping all ready to go. Besides the fact that the sun was going to be setting soon and I needed to get this thing baked and photographed. (Oh the life of a food blogger, ya gotta make dinner at lunch time… gets me all messed up!)
So you’ve let your potatoes cool. (Or, if you’re a half-crazy woman doing too much with too little time, you frantically ran them under cold water to get them cool enough to handle without setting your finders on fire.
Remember we didn’t peel them? Nows the time for that, just grab a knife and the peelings will slip right off.
Next, I use just a regular potato masher to mash them. I used to use an electric mixer but I discovered I like the slightly chunky texture that I get with the hand masher. But you can do whatever you like, I won’t tell. And, um… I know I took a picture of the bowl with the other filling ingredients all mixed up but I can’t find it. How a person loses a digital photo that she took yesterday is going to have to be a mystery for now.)
Anyway, mix the rest of the “filling” ingredients into your mashed up potatoes.
Then pour the filling into a casserole dish.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top.
Now I will say that there are some people in my extended family (I won’t mention any names) who think this is a lot of topping. You may feel that way when you’re sprinkling it on there. But take my word for it, use it all. You won’t regret it.
Next, bake it for about 30-40 minutes on 350° ( A little secret: If you’re in a hurry you can turn it up to about 370° and cook it for about 25 minutes. But don’t tell the food police because that may in some way compromise the perfection of this meal-completing dish.)
Set the table and prepare for the Yum! (That’s rosemary on top. Don’t do that. I Just did it for a nice photo.)
- 3 cups cooked sweet potato
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ stick butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1-1/2 TBSP butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Peel and mash the sweet potatoes.
- Mix filling ingredients until well blended.
- Pour into a square casserole dish.
- Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of filling.
- Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.
This recipe is featured in my Thanksgiving Meal Planner. I wrote it so I could have a plan to begin cooking on Monday, cooking a little each day instead of being stuck in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving. You can get it free here.