My great-grandmother Lois Evelyn Newsome Crain made a sweet potato casserole that my mother calls a "soufflé." What makes this sweet potato soufflé magical is the kick of citrus that balances the sweetness of the toasted marshmallow topping. —Melanie Crissey
- Serves 12
large sweet potatoes
large navel orange
stick of butter, softened on the counter
light brown sugar
large (not jumbo) "jet-puffed" marshmallows
large sheet pan
2 quart casserole dish
blender, big enough to hold 9 cups
- Set the oven to 400.
- Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes. Prick each sweet potato with a fork a few times. Rub each sweet potato with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the skin.
- Set the sweet potatoes on the large sheet pan and roast untouched for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, flip the sweet potatoes and continue roasting for an additional 40 minutes, until the jackets are easily pierced with a knife. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, slice each one down the middle longways, and allow them to cool on the counter until easily handled.
- Set the oven to 350.
- Zest the orange until you have about two heaping tablespoons of orange zest.
- Cut the orange into quarters and juice each wedge. A large orange should yield a little over a 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice.
- Measure the sugar, salt, and spices into a small cup.
- Cut just a tiny bit of softened butter from the end of the softened stick and use that to grease the inside of the casserole dish. Reserve the rest for the soufflé.
- Carefully remove the skins and any rough or stringy bits from each sweet potato, dropping each peeled potato into the blender.
- In the blender, add the orange juice and butter to the sweet potatoes. Pulse until smooth.
- Add sugar, salt, and spices into the blended sweet potatoes. Pulse until distributed.
- Crack two eggs into a small cup and make sure to remove any small shelly bits. Drop the eggs into the blender on top of the sweet potato mixture and pulse until just distributed.
- Working quickly, pour the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish, scraping down the sides of the blender and smoothing the top of the prepared mixture with a spatula.
- Bake the soufflé for 30 minutes or until the peaks have started to brown just slightly.
- Remove the casserole and keep warm until ready to serve.
- About 5 minutes before you're ready to serve, stick the marshmallows evenly across the top of the soufflé. (My 2 quart Pyrex fits exactly 28 marshmallows in seven rows of four).
- Turn the broiler on 'HI.' Have some oven mitts handy. Place the casserole under the broiler, watching carefully, for just 1-2 minutes for the marshmallows to toast but not burn.