“To die for!” “Awesome!” “OMG!” “You can bring this every year!”
Those are the comments I hear every time I take this dish to our family holiday dinners. Even Hubby, who does not like sweet potatoes, actually likes this dish! Amazing!
This recipe was inspired by Chef John’s Sweet Potato Casserole which I found by searching for a less-sweet healthier version using maple syrup instead of sugar. I modified it by eliminating the sugar-based topping and reducing the amount of maple syrup, since sweet potatoes are fairly sweet on their own. I do not use artificial sweeteners, so that option was out. I wanted natural ingredients – real butter, real maple syrup, real sweet potatoes. The search ended here!
So, with many thanks to Chef John for the inspiration, may I present…..
Jen’s Sweet Potato Casserole
2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (I buy the 3# bag of organic potatoes at Trader Joe’s)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
2-3 Tablespoons real maple syrup (to taste; see note below)
1/4 cup buttermilk (see note below)
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1-2 tablespoons butter
Grease a 2-1/2-quart baking dish with butter or coconut oil.
Wash sweet potatoes, cut off any stems, poke with a fork, and bake in 350F oven for 90 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool a little for easier handling, then remove peel and scoop out potato into a large bowl.
Mash 2 tablespoons butter into the sweet potatoes and mix well to combine.
Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, milk, vanilla, and seasonings in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth.
Gradually add the mashed sweet potatoes into the egg mixture, about 2 large spoonfuls at a time, combining the mixture until all the sweet potatoes are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the sweet potato mix into the prepared baking dish, spreading it to the edges.
Sprinkle the nuts across the top, and dot with butter.
Bake uncovered in pre-heated 350F oven until set, 25 – 30 minutes. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Gobble it up!
- Adjust the amount of maple syrup to taste. On one occasion, I used the full 1/4 cup and almost everyone agreed it was too sweet. (For reference, our family loves sweets!)
- An excellent substitute for buttermilk: For each 1 cup of milk, add 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, stir, and allow to sit several minutes before using. For this recipe, I used about 1 teaspoon vinegar.
- This dish can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to bake. If frozen, allow it to thaw before baking.