Maple Sweet Potato Casserole with Sage Butter

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

So, I found another blogger who made this dish with the original recipe but complained that it came out bland. To avoid that, I used all sweet potatoes instead of a mix of both regular and sweet, and I added maple syrup, both to sweeten it and add just a little more flavor. I also made a nut topping instead of one made from bread crumbs as the original had done. I'm beyond satisfied with the result, and it's going to be a long time before I decide to venture to another version of this dish.

3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 cup maple syrup

For the Topping:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Place sweet potatoes  in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 1 stick of butter with the chopped sage in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add butter mixture, milk, and maple syrup to the potatoes and beat with a blender until smooth. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. (mix can be refrigerated for up to 2 days)

In a small saucepan, combine pecans, butter and maple syrup. Heat for 1-2 minutes, or until pecans are well coated in the butter and syrup.  Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around the edges and the pecans are beginning to darken, about 30 to 40 minutes.
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