I feel really guilty because for the first time in quite a few years I am not cooking tomorrow. Not one thing. Not hosting Thanksgiving dinner as I've done the past few years. Not even cooking a side or dessert to take to someone else's house. I went back and forth over whether or not to cook, but everyone seemed to be going in different directions this year so we are just going to visit my mom who lives about an hour away and take her out to eat. Hopefully my dad will stop in sometime this weekend on his way to the beach or on the way back. To make up for my guilt I will share my sweet potato recipe with you all as I have done in years past. There are few measurements in this one. I typed it up off the top of my head one night a few years ago after making sweet potato casserole and pies (so where it says today or tonight it is referring to a previous Thanksgiving). Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Casserole/Pie RecipeI think that what makes my sweet potato casserole and pies really good is that I cook the potatoes whole in their skins first. I never use canned sweet potatoes.Sweet potatoes are really cheap (I paid 29 cents a pound today) and are really easy to cook. Continue on to read the recipes, but don't even bother if you want to use canned. It just won't taste the same if you do and the texture and color are not as good either.
I use my biggest pot (the same one I use when I make a big pot of homemade soup) and put as many sweet potatoes in it as will fit (eleven tonight). These are sweet potatoes you buy in the produce section, and I boil them whole with the skin still on. Add water and boil for at least 30 minutes, and up to an hour, until the potatoes are cooked through and somewhat soft. The boiling time will depend on the number of potatoes and the size of the potatoes. I just check one potato on top periodically by inserting a small paring knife until the potato feels soft inside. When ready, remove pototoes from heat and drain off water. Run some cool water over the potatoes and let them sit in it for a few minutes. Pour that water off and then begin to peel while potatoes are still warm. Be very careful because the insides are very hot. I cut off the very tip of each end, then I use my paring knife to cut a slit in the skin the length of the potato. I then carefully remove the skin by hand. It should slide right off, losing none of the potato.
I then place the peeled potatoes into a large mixing bowl and mash them with my potato masher or a large fork. If they have cooked long enough they should be very easy to mash. Add to the potatoes one stick of butter melted. Add two cups (or a bit more, to taste) of granulated sugar, a cup of evaporated milk, four eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla. You can add a bit of cinnamon if you choose, but it is not necessary. Pour sweet potatoes into two 2 qt. casserole dishes. If using pecan topping, which I do because it is absolutely delicious, spoon topping over casserole. Cover with casserole lid and cook in 350 degree oven for forty minutes.Remove lid near the end of baking so that topping will be crunchy. If using marshmallows, bake the casserole for forty minutes, then top with marshmallows and put back into oven uncovered and brown lightly.
Pecan topping recipe (enough for 1 casserole): mix together 1 c. light brown sugar,1/2 stick of melted butter, 1 c. chopped pecans and 1/2 c. flour. Spoon over casserole and bake.
Instead of making two casseroles (they are very large and one will feed a lot of people), you might want to do as I did tonight and after pouring potatoes into one casserole dish, use the remaining mixture to make pies. Add two more eggs to the potato mixture and a little cinnamon and pour into two unbaked 9 in. pie shells. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until set. If you don't need two large casseroles or pies, save half of the mixture and freeze in plastic freezer container. Then whenever you want to make a casserole or two pies, just thaw and continue instructions above. Or you can pour mixture into unbaked pie shells, cover and freeze until ready to bake.Happy Thanksgiving!