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Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole: A Comforting Classic

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Indulge in the warm and comforting flavors of the South with our recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole. This timeless dish combines creamy mashed sweet potatoes with a delectable pecan topping, creating a mouthwatering masterpiece that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or simply craving a taste of home, this Southern staple is sure to become a favorite at your table. Join us as we explore the simple steps to creating this irresistible casserole that will leave your taste buds singing.

Ingredients:

For the Casserole:

  • 4 cups of mashed sweet potatoes (cooked)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup of softened butter
  • ⅓ cup of half and half
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 ⅓ cups of pecan pieces
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of melted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Prepare the Sweet Potatoes:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, egg, brown sugar, softened butter, half and half, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Transfer to Baking Dish:
    • Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  4. Prepare the Topping:
    • In a separate bowl, combine the pecan pieces, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and melted butter. Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated and form a crumbly texture.
  5. Add the Topping:
    • Sprinkle the pecan topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish, covering the surface completely.
  6. Bake to Perfection:
    • Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the edges are bubbly.
  7. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Slice into squares and serve warm, savoring the irresistible combination of creamy sweet potatoes and crunchy pecan topping.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Texture Preference: For a smoother texture, use a potato masher or hand mixer to ensure the sweet potato mixture is completely smooth before adding the topping. For a chunkier texture, leave some small lumps in the mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Enhance the Flavor: Add a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg to the sweet potato mixture for a warm and aromatic flavor profile.
  • Nut-Free Option: If you have nut allergies or prefer a nut-free option, omit the pecans from the topping and increase the amount of flour slightly to compensate for the volume.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use canned sweet potatoes instead of fresh? A: Yes, you can use canned sweet potatoes as a time-saving alternative. Simply drain and mash the canned sweet potatoes before proceeding with the recipe.

Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the sweet potato mixture and topping separately and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before assembling and baking the casserole. Alternatively, you can bake the casserole ahead of time and reheat it in the oven before serving.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze leftover sweet potato casserole in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it in the oven until warmed through.

Q: Can I use a different type of nut for the topping? A: Yes, you can substitute pecans with walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts if desired. Choose your favorite nut or use a combination for added variety.

Q: Can I make this recipe keto-friendly or low-carb? A: Yes, you can make keto-friendly or low-carb substitutions by using a sugar-free sweetener such as erythritol or stevia in place of brown sugar. For the topping, use a combination of almond flour and crushed pecans or coconut flour to replace all-purpose flour. Ensure that the butter you use is unsalted and consider adding a pinch of salt to the sweet potato mixture to compensate for the lack of salt in the topping.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can adapt this recipe:

  • Keto Version: Substitute the brown sugar in the sweet potato mixture with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or stevia. Use almond flour or coconut flour in place of all-purpose flour for the topping. Ensure that the half and half you use is unsweetened and low in carbs, or use heavy cream as a keto-friendly alternative. Adjust the amount of sweetener used to taste.
  • Low-Carb Version: Follow the keto version adjustments above, and consider reducing the amount of sweetener used in both the sweet potato mixture and the topping to further lower the carb content. You can also use a combination of mashed cauliflower and mashed sweet potatoes to reduce the overall carb count.

Treat yourself to the comforting flavors of the South with our Southern Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. Whether served as a side dish for holiday feasts or enjoyed as a cozy weeknight indulgence, this classic casserole is sure to delight your taste buds and warm your heart. With its creamy sweet potato base and crunchy pecan topping, each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that will leave you craving more. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the joy of Southern cooking with this beloved favorite!

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