Sweet potatoes grow in abundance in Alabama, where sculptor Sandi Stevens' family eats them year-round. This casserole is a Stevens favorite: silky pureed sweet potatoes topped with a sweet and crunchy pecan-cornflake topping. If you don't have pecans or cornflakes on hand, Stevens says the topping can be made with whatever nut or cereal is in the cupboard.
More Casserole Recipes
5 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup milk, warmed
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup pecan halves (4 ounces)
1 cup cornflakes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Put the sweet potatoes in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, shaking off the excess water. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a food processor (in batches, if necessary) and puree until smooth.
Scrape the puree into a large bowl. Add half of the butter, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of the nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and the milk and stir until combined. Stir in the eggs. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer the pecans to a work surface and coarsely chop them. In a bowl, toss the pecans with the cornflakes, cinnamon and the remaining melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 cup of brown sugar. Season with salt.
Remove the foil from the casserole. Spoon small clumps of the topping all over the sweet potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes longer, until the topping is golden and sizzling. Let the casserole stand for 20 minutes before serving.
The casserole can be baked up to 4 hours ahead and served warm or at room temperature.
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