Sally Waltz likes to cook sweet potatoes because they were grown by native Americans before the first settlers arrived from Europe.
When she bakes this souffle on the hearth, she places its casserole dish inside a footed, cast-iron Dutch oven, with some coals shoveled underneath the Dutch oven and more placed on top of the recessed lid. She changes the position of the Dutch oven during baking to promote even cooking.
Make Ahead: The souffle can be assembled and refrigerated (unbaked) the night before you bake it. Because it takes 30 to 45 minutes, Waltz usually bakes this while the roasted turkey is resting.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , plus more for greasing the casserole, at room temperature
- 3 cups cooked, peeled and mashed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole or low-fat milk
- Dash salt
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter or nonstick cooking oil spray to grease a shallow, 2-quart casserole.
Combine the sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk, 4 tablespoons of the butter and the salt in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Transfer to the casserole, spreading it evenly.
Toss together the brown sugar, flour, the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the pecans in a medium bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the potato mixture. Bake for 40 minutes, until fragrant and lightly caramelized on top.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted by Smithsburg, Md., Sally Waltz, from a hearth cooking class held at the 1840 House in Baltimore, which is now a bed-and-breakfast.
Tested by Sally Waltz.
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