Sweet Potato Casserole

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This casserole tops buttery, silky pureed sweet potatoes with a sweet and crunchy pecan-cornflake topping.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Photo: Lucy Schaffer
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
12

Sweet potatoes grow in abundance in Alabama, where sculptor Sandi Stevens' family eats them year-round. 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.

Ingredients

  • 5 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing

  • Salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar

  • 1 cup milk, warmed

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup pecan halves (4 ounces)

  • 1 cup cornflakes

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Put sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven or large pot and ill with enough cold water to cover. Place pot on stove over high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, shaking off excess water. Transfer sweet potatoes to a food processor and puree (in batches, if necessary) until smooth.

  2. Scrape 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 eggs. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and smooth surface. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer pecans to a work surface and coarsely chop. Toss pecans in a bowl with cornflakes, cinnamon, the remaining melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1 cup of brown sugar. Season with salt.

  4. Remove foil from casserole. Spoon topping all over sweet potatoes. Return sweet potatoes to oven and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden and sizzling, 40 minutes. Let casserole stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The casserole can be baked up to 4 hours ahead and served warm or at room temperature.

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