This one is a classic Thanksgiving dish recipe from my home kitchen growing up in Montana. (A state where snow graced the ground on more than one Thanksgiving I can recall). I remember my mother finding the original in a magazine then tweaking it to be less sweet. I've chosen to amp up the spices a bit in my version. I could live without the turkey and mashed potatoes at the table for the holiday, but definitely not without this! But as far as seasonality goes...limiting yourself to eating this only one day out of the year is by no means necessary. Don't we all having cravings for pumpkin or candy canes in the middle of summer sometimes? Same deal here. You can make it a holiday any day you darn well please. —Jenny
Sweet Potato Mixture
medium-sized sweet potatoes
milk (or soymilk)
fresh grated ginger
crunchy, maple/fall-spiced granola (Bear Naked is my personal favorite)
Peel and dice your sweet potatoes into small cubes. Personally, I love to cook them in a steamer placed inside a big soup-style pot on the stove with just a little water in the bottom. They'll cook in under 15 minutes, so give them a poke after 10 to check.
Once they're nice and tender, remove from heat and crush with a potato masher while still hot. Gradually add in the milk/soymilk, brown sugar, salt, butter and spices and mix until it's uniform looking. If you have a few small sweet potato lumps - I always do - no stress.
Scoop out potato mixture into a small, round, greased casserole dish. Place in a 400 degree oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes with the lid on. It should be starting to brown just a bit around the edges and look firmed somewhat. Meanwhile, begin mixing your topping ingredients. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked remove them, but don't turn off your oven.
Combine all your topping ingredients except the butter. Drizzle butter over top and mix together with a spoon. Layer the topping evenly over your baked sweet potatoes. Stick back in the oven for another 10 minutes, this time with the lid off so the topping can get nice and crunchy. You'll know it's done when the pecans have started to brown a bit. Remove from oven and keep the lid on until your lucky friends/family have arrived to help you eat it. Makes great Tupperware leftovers for lunch the next day!