I love sweet potatoes. In pretty much every incarnation. Sweet, savory, plain. I love them. Granted, this version is a special occasion dish, but it is so flavorful and perfect, that I want to eat it every. single. day. Even though my thighs say no. Not only does it taste divine, it is gorgeous on a plate. One of the things about a Thanksgiving plate is that it can be rather monochromatic if you are not careful. Lots of beige and white. Turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potato, you see where I am going with this. This bright orange side dish is like a ray of sunshine.
I know that a lot of people think of sweet potato casserole with the little marshmallows on top, but I much prefer this pecan topping. Give this a try this year, I promise that it will be the best sweet potato casserole that you have ever eaten.
For the topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup pecans
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
For the sweet potatoes:
6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teasspoon cinnamon
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, flour, sugar, and maple syrup.
Mix well and stir in the pecans. Set aside.
Steam or boil the sweet potatoes until soft.
Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Stir in the butter, milk, orange juice, vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Put the mashed sweet potatoes in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Spread the pecan mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the casserole is heated through.