"A Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole is always a comforting and familiar side. How about topped with praline brûlée? This sweet potato casserole recipe can fit in a large serving pan for family-style feasting as well as multiple smaller pans for individual portions. It’s all about making holiday dinner work for you!"
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
7 T unsalted butter, diced
3/4 tsp coarse salt
3 T water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 heavy cream
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
8 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
Combine sweet potatoes, 2 T unsalted butter, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 T water in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes. Stir well and then microwave another 5 minutes.
Prepare Pecan Topping: Heat 1 T water, ½ cup brown sugar and ¼ granulated sugar in a small pan. Stir just until the sugar completely dissolves. Pulse pecans in a food processor a few times. Add to the pan with sugar mixture. Stir well to combine, then add 2 T unsalted butter. Spread the mixture out on some parchment paper and let it dry.
Lightly spread butter over the surface the baking pans of your choice. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the butter and shake it around to coat well.
Remove sweet potatoes from the microwave and drain off excess water. Pour the bowl into a food processor or high speed blender. Add 3 T unsalted butter and 1/4 tsp salt. Puree the mixture until smooth.
Pour the heavy cream, dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar into a saucepan and set to medium-low. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and turn off the burner. Remove about 3/4 cup of the mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and slowly drizzle in the ¾ cup of hot cream while constantly whisking.
Add the egg/cream mixture back into the saucepan, drizzling it in while constantly whisking again. Next, add the sweet potato puree to the pan. Smash it out a little and add vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp coarse salt, cinnamon, ginger and fresh nutmeg. Whisk until smooth.
Place your baking dishes in a larger pan, then pour the mixture into your sugar-coated baking dishes. Level the tops using a spatula or spoon. Place the pans into an oven preheated to 325°F. Carefully add hot water to the bottom pan until it’s about halfway up the sides of the casserole dishes.
Bake for 25-35 minutes until they’re just set. Carefully remove and allow them to cool completely, which should take 3-4 hours. After they’ve cooled, spread out the pecan topping thinly over each dish. Followed by an even coating of sugar (2:1 mixture of brown & granulated sugar). Smooth it out with the back of a spoon, lightly packing it.
Brûlée the topping with an electric torch or the oven broiler. Let the topping harden for about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!