Calling all sweet potato lovers out there ... this is 'da bomb sweet potato casserole - like, the one that tops all others in my opinion. It has the perfect balance of fall spices, crunch, creaminess and sweetness. And, it doesn't have to be made just on Thanksgiving ... it went great with our Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches recently and I often make it anytime I make a big Sunday ham dinner. (Baked ham and sweet potatoes go hand-and-hand in my book.)
And, now that it's cooling down here in Michigan, it's great to have my kitchen fill up with the scents of fall while this dish is baking ... the cinnamon and nutmeg bring about those aromas of fall for me. And, that crunch topping is seriously dangerous!
This recipe yields a good amount ... probably enough for 8 - 10 servings as a side dish. So, if you're only wanting enough for a smaller crowd, you could easily cut the recipe in half ... just be sure to use a slightly smaller baking dish.
FOR THE SWEET POTATO PORTION -
5 sweet potatoes
2 beaten eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 stick softened butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
FOR THE CRUNCH TOPPING PORTION -
1/3 cup flour
6 tablespoons softened butter (room temperature is best)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon kosher salt (use only if using unsalted pecans)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Boil sweet potatoes with skins on in a large pot until fork-tender. Drain and allow to cool until able to handle. Remove skins and place potatoes into a large bowl. Whip potatoes until mostly smooth using an electric mixer or mash well with a potato masher. Add in the remaining ingredients called for in the first list of ingredients above. Combine until everything is well-blended.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour sweet potato mixture into a slightly greased 9 x 13 or similar baking dish.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the crunch topping ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is broken down into small pebbles. A fork works well for this task.
Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes.
Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are heated through and topping is beginning to crisp up.