This is actually two recipes in one, as I have given the recipe for the crunchy pecan topping farther down the page. This treasured recipe has been in my family many years. My mother used to add crushed pineapple when she made it, but I never have. Over the years, I have tweaked it to make it a bit healthier. The dish has always been well-received, and get I requests for the recipe, as well as for 2nd helpings. I really do believe it is the best sweet potato casserole ever. As usual, with the tiny but healthy changes I’ve made, no one can tell the difference.
This recipe is for a crowd, but can be halved for fewer people, or even quartered for 2 to 6 people. Whenever I make it for just my husband and me, I halve or quarter the ingredients, then bake it in 2 or 3 small casserole dishes. We can have one for dinner, and freeze the other(s).
Prep Time: 30 – 35 min. Total Time: 45 – 60 min. Serves: 20 – 25
Ingredients for Potato Mixture
- 6 large boiled sweet potatoes
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 eggs (beaten) or Eggbeaters
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- nutmeg to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces, then boil until soft.
- Combine cooked potatoes, butter, and sugar using electric mixer.
- Mix until well blended.
- Add skim milk, orange juice, and salt.
- Mix on medium-high until well blended.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. (We like lots of nutmeg.)
- Add beaten eggs. Mix well.
- Add topping (Recipe is below.)
- Bake at 350 F. for 30 minutes, or until set.
Pecan Topping Has Many Uses:
This topping can also be used on pecan encrusted fish, particularly grouper, tilapia, or halibut. We tried it on grouper — it was heavenly.
Prep time: 10 min Total Time: 10 min.
Ingredients for Topping
- 3/4 stick unsalted softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- Melt butter in a saucepan.
- Add brown sugar and flour.
- Stir until well blended.
- Add pecans. Mix well.
- Pour over topping sweet potato mixture, and spread to cover entire casserole. (If mixture is too thick to pour and spread easily, stir in a bit of warm water. You can judge how much is needed.)
- Bake according to casserole directions above.
I tried chopping the pecans by hand, but the pieces in the finished product were too large. Since then, I have ground them in my blender.
In this photo, the casserole is constructed, and is now ready for baking at 350 F. for 30 minutes, or until set.
For Faster Cooking
Cut the potatoes into small pieces for faster cooking. I use the slicer blade on my food processor. It turns a lengthy chore into a 5-minute process, and produces thin slices which will cook faster. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low-to-medium heat, especially if you are very busy preparing other foods, as well. They should be done in about 20 to 30 minutes. When a fork or knife will slide easily into them, they are done.
These Can Be Made Ahead of Time
The potatoes can be cooked ahead of time, then refrigerated until ready to add other ingredients. Please note, if the potatoes are cold, the butter will not dissolve completely. Instead it will break up into tiny segments. So, if your potatoes are cold you may want to cream, or even melt the softened butter before adding the potatoes. After baking the casserole, the potatoes will still be very soft until cooled a bit, but should not be soupy.
You can also prepare the dish, then refrigerate for cooking later. If chilled, however, you will need to allow for longer baking time.