Sweet potato casseroles


Sweet potatoes, also called yams here in the United States, are a Thanksgiving staple, especially in the South. They're most often served candied, with a simple sugar syrup occasionally with some citrus or apple fruit flavorings. I'm not for a moment knocking candied yams. In fact, I'm sure I'll make them a time or two myself during the holidays.

However, there is a whole world of other sweet potato recipes out there. My favorite is the sweet potato "pudding," which isn't exactly a traditional pudding recipe but uses the starch of the potato to set up nicely. The flavors of both these recipes are superb. The first is from my own recipe file, the second another offering from soul food guru Willie Crawford.

Sweet Potato Pudding

2 lbs. sweet potatoes peeled and grated

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ c. granulated sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

1 c. whole milk

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground allspice

½ tsp. grated nutmeg

1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 lemon or ½ tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly butter a 2-quart casserole.

Combine the sweet potatoes and melted butter in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until light and lemon-colored. Add this to the sweet potatoes and stir just until blended. Gradually whisk in the two milks, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Pour into the prepared casserole.

Bake, stirring well two or three times, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the top is lightly browned, about 60-70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pudding

1 8 oz. can sweet potatoes, drained

1 c. canned pumpkin

½ tsp. finely shredded orange peel

1/3 c. sugar

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground cloves

2 beaten eggs

1 c. canned unsweetened coconut milk

Sweetened whipped cream

Toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Mash sweet potatoes in food processor or put through a sieve.

In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, mashed sweet potatoes and orange peel.

In another mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves and ¼ tsp. salt;stir into pumpkin mixture.

Add beaten eggs and coconut milk; mix well.

Spoon mixture evenly into 6-oz. souffle cups or custard cups. Bake in 350° oven about 50 minutes, or until set in center. Serve with whipped cream and garnish with coconut if desired. Serves 6. Enjoy!!!