Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Streusel topping
Yield: 8-10 servings
Total Time: 2 2/12 hours
Bourbon adds a complex, woody flavor to this twist on the holiday sweet potato casserole, keeping things from veering off into kids’-table territory. Roasted sweet potatoes are mashed so they stay chunky, then mixed with melted butter, bourbon, milk, some cinnamon and nutmeg, and orange zest for loads of flavor without being too boozy-tasting. This glorious mash is packed into a buttered casserole dish, and topped with a pecan-and-brown-sugar streusel that turns crunchy as it bakes. Pair with our easy apple streusel for dessert.
For Sweet Potatoes:
6 lbs medium Garnet sweet potatoes
For Streusel topping:
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
7 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 14 pieces
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped (about 6 oz)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp bourbon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (3/4 of a stick), plus more for coating the dish
2 tsp of finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup of whole milk
To bake the sweet potatoes and make the topping:
1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until very soft to the touch, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut it into the flour mixture until the butter’s in pea-size pieces or smaller, about 5 minutes. Add the pecans and toss with your fingers to combine.
3. Squeeze clumps of the mixture between your fingers to form irregularly shaped pieces about the size of kidney beans. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble and bake:
1. When the sweet potatoes are done roasting, place the baking sheet on a wire rack and set it aside until the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and set it aside.
2. Place the bourbon, measured butter, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture has started to bubble, about 5 minutes; set aside.
3. When the sweet potatoes are cooled, cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape the flesh out with a spoon and transfer it to a large bowl; discard the skins. Using a potato masher, mash the flesh until it’s almost smooth but some chunks remain. Add the bourbon mixture and the milk and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
4. Evenly sprinkle the streusel topping over the sweet potatoes. Bake until the streusel is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let it sit 10 minutes before serving.
Make-ahead note: Though the streusel is crunchiest when freshly made, this casserole can be completely made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat uncovered in a 350°F oven until heated through, 35 to 45 minutes.
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