Pipe Dream #301: To Holiday – Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

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I had this moment in October wherein I said to myself, “Wow, I really want to eat sweet potato casserole. With marshmallows. That sounds reallll good. Too bad I’ll have to wait until Thanksgiving. I’ll make a big 9×13 for the fam.”

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And then I realized, beautifully: I don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to eat this. Eating sweet potato casserole does not have to be limited to large family gatherings filled with traditional foods. It can be like, a normal food that I make myself and reheat for lunch. It has sweet potatoes in it, heaven knows.

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So I set out to create a fairly simple recipe that I could throw together on a Sunday night. Sweet potatoes, eggs, spices, not too hard. I intended to make a sweet potato casserole. What I actually made was a sliceable sweet potato bar with pecan streusel topping (read: YUM CROSSWAYS). Next time, I’m going to leave out the eggs in the hopes that the texture will be more scoopable, less sliceable. Also, I will take more time to make sure the potatoes are really soft, so I don’t get chunks. Score one for impatience.

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Here’s the thing. I can’t tell if this casserole/bar is a dessert recipe or just a normal side dish recipe. It’s definitely got less sugar/butter/marshmallows than some desserts, but it isn’t just, like, boiled sweet potatoes. Maybe that is the beauty of holiday foods: no one can really tell if they’re eating healthy or not, but it is ok not to care for a day. The desserts can masquerade as sides and no one rings the alarm.

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There is protein in chocolate cake, there is calcium in cream cheese frosting, and there is Vitamin A in this sweet potato bar. Some nutrition gets through. I think.

Permissions aside, I remain

Lauren

P.S. Updated the recipes page of the blog–should be a little bit easier to navigate now. Enjoy the archives.

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

An LH Original

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 T butter, melted

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger + a sprinkle of clove

topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans (50 g)

Chop the peeled potatoes into large chunks and microwave in batches until tender. I had to do three batches in a Pyrex measuring cup covered with a paper towel for about five minutes. It would probably be better for you to bake or boil the potatoes to ensure they are quite soft–my casserole had chunks.
Place potatoes in the bowl or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add maple syrup, milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, spices and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat well. Pour potato mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray and spread evenly.
Combine flour, sugar and chilled butter in a medium bowl, cutting in the butter with two knives until crumbly. Cut in the pecans, and give the streusel a few good stirs until evenly combined. Sprinkle on top of the potato mixture.
Cover the pan with foil. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake another 15 minutes or until the topping is browned.
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