There are a few foods that I really, REALLY look forward to at holidays. They’re pretty basic but always remind me of huge family gatherings (often time including people that we really couldn’t ever place within our family tree- but opened the doors to anyways) mostly at my Grandma and Grandpa’s home. Their home is about the same size as ours- a bit on the smaller side considering today’s mega homes- but during the holidays we managed to cram everyone into that small galley kitchen. Most families (especially ones that like to cook.. or eat a lot) believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home; nourishment and time are poured into dishes, warming the heart and the stomach.
Our dishes might not be so rooted in the truly nourishing side- they’re more rooted in the delicious forms of butter: melted, clarified, creamed, and whipped.
While my Grandma would probably turn up her nose to marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes- she would GREATLY approve of everything else in my sweet potato casserole (after all- you have been warned- it doesn’t contain a good amount of butter. The melted variety.)
In hopes of warming your tummy this Easter, as well as adding some padding for next year’s polar vortex winter- here is my favorite sweet potato casserole.
RefurbishedTeacher’s Sweet Potato Casserole (fills a 3 quart casserole dish to the rim):
You will need: large casserole dish (3 quarts or larger with lid), stock pot, 1/4 teaspoon + salt, 1/4 teaspoon + cinnamon, 1 melted stick of unsalted butter, 7-10 large sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, about 1/2 a bag of large marshmallows, butter to grease casserole dish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt a large stock pot of water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Wash, pat dry, peel and cube 7 to 10 large sweet potatoes.
- Add potatoes to boiling water. Turn heat down and stir occasionally until sweet potatoes begin to fall apart (you want the potatoes THOROUGHLY cooked since they will be beaten straight out of the pot). Approximately 15-25 minutes depending on how small you cubed the potatoes
- Remove from heat and strain
- Pour sweet potatoes into large mixing bowl (I use a Kitchen Aide 7 quart mixer) and attach beater blade.
- Add 1 stick melted butter (unsalted)
- Mix on a low speed (speed 1 or 2) until potatoes break apart and butter is incorporated
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus a little more depending on how many potatoes you use. I sometimes need to add an additional 1/8 teaspoon) to taste
- Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to taste (taste and add more if you like a stronger cinnamon flavor- I do not recommend adding any more than a total of 1/2 teaspoon. The cinnamon will overpower.)
- Add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- Mix on low speed then increase to a whip. You will have a few strands and tiny lumps but want the mixture to be pretty smooth (this is why you want the potatoes really, really soft. if you leave your potatoes slightly firm they will not whip to the right consistency).
- Slowly pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream into the bowl while the mixer is running. Incorporate well.
- Break 2 eggs in a small container. Whisk. Pour into large bowl with potatoes.Mix well for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Butter a large (3 quart or larger) casserole dish (I prefer to use one with a lid). Pour entire mixture into dish- smoothing the top.
- Cut large marshmallows in half using kitchen scissors. Arrange across the top of potatoes. (You do not have to use large- I had a mix of large and small for this Easter and used both until I couldn’t see any more orange). Gently push marshmallows down a little.
- Cover and refrigerate over night OR cook right away. If cooking the next day- remove your casserole dish prior to placing in the oven to avoid temperature shock and possibly damaging your dish or slowing down the cooking time.
- In a preheated 350 degree oven, place room temperature dish in center rack of oven. Bake for 30 minutes (or until center is hot) with the lid ON. Remove lid and bake an additional 10 minutes or until tops of marshmallows are golden brown.
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