Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Thanksgiving Recipes: Here’s My Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe – What’s Your Favorite?

October 28th, 2009 · No Comments


Osceola Turkey, a fellow Florida native

Thanksgiving dinner brings more recipe requests than all other holidays combined – even abroad, I hear from ex-pats and foreigners who like to celebrate by giving thanks via food.

I have  read and shared thousands of recipes over the years as food editor at The Post,  and want to share them now online for a world of readers.

Just Hit the Contact Button Above

So send me the one your family can’t live without. Since most of us know how (you can ask me) to make the turkey – send me your sides, starters and desserts!

Oyster dressing? Chocolate pecan pie? Lobster bisque? Sweet potato vichysoisse? E-mail your favorite recipes to me by simply clicking the “contact” above and it’ll come directly to me. I can then follow up with an email to get more info if I need it. You can also include a jpeg of your family or you, the cook, if you like.

Put “My Thanksgiving Day Recipe” in the subject line, and include your name, city and country –  and I’ll publish it here. Please give a source if you have one.

A few will be selected to receive a free cookbook from my ever-growing stash!

Sweet potato casserole a family favorite

Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potato casserole

Here’s my family favorite — we call it Yam Crunch, but it’s mostly known as Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping. One of my former co-workers, upon tasting it for the first time, though it was heaven on a spoon and took seconds and thirds as a dessert. I was shocked he’d never tasted it — it seemed like very old hat to me.

To make this casserole sweeter, you could top it with marshmallows if you want, or pineapple sprinkled with brown sugar, but we like the pecan crunch.

It’s versatile as a side or dessert. We always double it to have leftovers for sandwiches the day after. But you could make it with half-pumpkin, and put it in a pie shell and make it into a pie, then serve it cold. (The variation follows the main recipe.)

Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

  • 3 cups cooked yams, drained
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk (Pet evaporated called for)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon — optional

For praline topping:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, mix together yams, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and milk  – cinnamon if desired. Pour into a greased square or oval 1.5-quart oven-proof casserole. In a small bowl, mix together with a large fork the praline topping. Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the prepared casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes in center of oven (do not allow pecans to burn).

Makes enough for 6 sides as a main side; or 8 to 10 at a dinner with lots of trimmings.

Note: If topping with mini-marshmallows, add at last 8 minutes; return to oven’s top shelf and bake till toasted.

(Recipe from Jan’s Aunt Leana Kilpatrick – one of the best cooks in her family.)

Variation for pie: Add 1 more egg (total of 3) and 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter to the casserole mixture along with 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (omit cinnamon). Pour into a 10-inch, deep-dish raw pie crust. (You will have enough to make a small casserole “pie” of leftover mixture.)

Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees; lower oven temp to 400 and add praline topping. Bake another 25 minutes or until mixture is somewhat “set” and crust is done.

Cool, then chill. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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