Here New York Times food writer Marian Burros offers a take on the traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole that replaces the unctuous toasted miniature marshmallow topping with a layer of crunchy pecans and brown sugar.

4 medium large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)

6 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup heavy cream or whole milk

3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

For the topping

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened slightly

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

¾ cup chopped pecans


1.   To make the casserole, heat the oven to 375”.  Bake the sweet potatoes until very tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Reduce heat to 350*.

 2.   When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth.  You should have about 4 cups.  Using a hand mixer, mix in brown sugar, orange juice, heavy cream, butter, vanilla and salt.  Place in a casserole dish.

3.   To make the topping, combine the butt3r, brown sugar and pecans.  Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture, bake for 30 minutes and serve hot.

adapted from Marian Burros, the New York Times 

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