Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

Candied Sweet Potato Casserole
from America's Test Kitchen

Serves 10 to 12

For a more intense molasses flavor, us dark brown sugar (Me: we usually use dark brown sugar) in place of light brown sugar. To make ahead, follow the recipe through step 2. refrigerate the sweet potato mixture in a large microwave-safe bowl, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, for up to 20 hours. When ready to bake, poke several vent holes in the plastic wrap covering the potatoes and microwave on medium-high power until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to assemble and bake the casserole as directed in steps 3 and 4.

Sweet Potatoes ~

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1-inch chunks
5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup water

Pecan Topping ~

2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a hot oven for 5 minutes
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper

directions ~
  1. For the Sweet Potatoes: Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven (Me: we use a large, deep skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.

  2. When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.

  3. For the Topping: Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl; set aside.

  4. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450˚. Pour the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or shallow casserole dish of similar size). Spread the topping over the potatoes. Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately (Me: it can sit for a few minutes if you have any last-minute preparations for other stuff)