Sweet Potato Custard with Candied Pecans

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Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! I was very fortunate to travel to South Carolina with friends just the week before Thanksgiving. While there, we visited Savannah, Georgia and indulged in a foodie tour of the city, where we tasted some of the South’s finest offerings. So, when I came home, I decided to update my mother’s Sweet Potato Casserole with more of a Southern flair. The result is absolutely delicious; so good it could almost be a dessert.  This casserole has been on our holiday table (both Thanksgiving and Christmas) for more years than I can remember; definitely since I was a child. I have made it every year since I married at age 21.  My sister includes it on her holiday table as well. So, this dish is absolutely one of our tastiest holiday food traditions.

Traditions were very important when we (my sister & brother and myself)  were growing up.  We had big family holiday dinners that included all the aunts, uncles and cousins. We had Christmas trees, Christmas lights, gifts, laughter and that wonderful feeling of family closeness. But families change. My sister and I both married, and moved away. We both ended up getting divorced and life went on until our parents passed. So now it’s up to my sister and I to carry on the traditions we once had. My husband and I always have a small Christmas tree, we have a pre-Christmas holiday dinner with his side of the family, and a small Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with my brother. But, isn’t it interesting how so many of our holiday traditions are based on food? Think of Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving Turkey and pumpkin pie, the Easter lamb or ham. My family didn’t go to the Thanksgiving or Christmas parades, or watch football games. Instead, we talked to each other. We shared our stories and love over dinner, dessert and coffee or drinks.

So, I hope you will enjoy my mom’s updated Sweet Potato Casserole, which I now call Sweet Potato Custard. The candied pecans are an added and tasty bonus! (Spoiler alert! It’s a little rich!)

Diff:  Easy       Prep: 25 min

Cook: 35 min      Serves:  8

Sweet Potato Custard with Candied Pecans

INGREDIENTS

Casserole:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (peeled, cubed and cooked until soft)

  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ½ t ground cinnamon

  • ½ t vanilla

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 12 oz. evaporated milk

Topping:

  • ½ cup pecans, chopped

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ t ground cinnamon

  • ¼ t salt

  • 2-4 T water

INSTRUCTIONS

Casserole:

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F.

  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes into small pieces, cook in boiling water for 20-25 minutes until soft; then mash with blender.

  • Blend sweet potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.

  • Stir in beaten eggs and milk.

  • Pour into casserole dish.

  • Bake for 35 minutes, then remove from oven.

  • Garnish with sugared pecans before serving.

Topping:

  • In large frying pan, add pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

  • As ingredients heat, add enough water to brown sugar to make a syrup.

  • Stir all ingredients together to combine and to coat pecans. Let mixture boil for about 5 minutes.

  • Remove pecans to a plate to cool.

  • When cool, break pecans apart.

  • Use as garnish.

Until next time, wishing you all a stress-free run-up to Christmas, all of God’s blessings, good health and happy eating!

Smiles,

Maria

 

 

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