Consider this blog post a “sneak preview” of what’s to come later this week. Last Friday, we interviewed Amanda Hesser, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook. We’ll be featuring her interview on our podcast, Cooking with the Moms, as well as an amazing recipe for apple cake from page 752 of the book (yes, it’s a very long cookbook)! We decided to let this recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole “out of the bag” since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we thought some of you might want to make it for the holiday.
The book has over 1,000 recipes, all selected from the New York Times’s substantial recipe archive. We chose this dish first for its seasonal appeal and because Liz’s mom suggested we give it a try. Liz’s mom grew up in New York and started reading the NY Times food section after she got married. In 1961, she bought the New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claiborne and has been cooking from it ever since. We suspect the almost-antique Claiborne book will remain her favorite, but she certainly enjoyed scanning through the new book and highlighting a bunch of things.
Sylvia and Liz pose with their New York Times cookbooks.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Makes 8 Servings (but probably more at Thanksgiving when there are lots and lots of other side dishes to choose from)
This recipe was contributed to the New York Times in 1992 by chef Jimmy Sneed, for an article titled, “On Thanksgiving, What’s a Chef to Do?” Amanda Hesser describes the dish as a “downy casserole that tastes like a savory Creamsicle.” We adapted the recipe a bit, adding our personal touch, by reducing the amount of butter and brown sugar … and it still tasted sweet, rich, and creamy. Recipe adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook.
- 6 large sweet potatoes (each about 1 pound)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Topping
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until very tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F.
2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half, scoop the flesh into a bowl, and mash until smooth. (You should have 4 to 5 cups.) Stir in the brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, butter, vanilla, and salt. Place in a casserole dish.
3. To make the topping, combine the butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture. Bake until the nuts are toasted and the casserole has puffed, about 30 minutes.
Roasting the super-nutritious sweet potatoes brings out their natural sugars.
Liz plans to make this recipe for Thanksgiving (her assignments are always the sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce). What’s your favorite way to make sweet potato casserole? Do you top it with marshmallows, chopped apples, or nothing but butter and sugar? Tell us about it … we love hearing from you.
Here’s a picture of the apple cake we’ll be posting to the blog on Tuesday, so stay tuned!