Pecan Praline Sweet Potato Casserole
5 pounds sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cups fresh- squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh-grated orange zest
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Pecan Praline topping:
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cups butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Prepare casserole: Lightly coat a 9- by 13-inch pan with cooking spray and set it aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a fork, prick sweet potato skins all over and roast on a baking sheet until soft, about 1 hour. Allow sweet potatoes to sit at room temperature until they are cool enough to handle, then remove the peel. Place them in a large bowl and mash until smooth with a potato masher. Stir in the butter, orange juice and zest. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, baking powder, and vanilla. Combine with the potato mixture and pour into the prepared pan. (At this point the casserole can be tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.)
2. : To make the Pecan Praline topping, place pecans, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, then pour over sweet potato mixture.
3. Bake until bubbly and brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Reason I picked this recipe:
I picked this recipe mainly because it is so delicious! I love to try new recipes, and over the years have tried many variations on sweet potato casserole. I have tried candied sweet potatoes, the traditional, 50’s style marshmallow-topped variety, and even an elaborate recipe for marshmallow-stuffed, corn flake-encrusted sweet potato balls with an orange glaze that was WAY more trouble than it was worth. As with most things, simpler proved to be better. One of the great things about this recipe is that most of it can be done in advance. Since things in the kitchen tend to be pretty hectic on Thanksgiving Day, anything that can be done in advance brings a welcome bit of relief from the stress and allows for more time with the family and less in the kitchen.
Amy Breshears could be considered a native Charlottean, having been born at Presbyterian Hospital, but she was subsequently raised in Hawaii. She returned to Charlotte, with her husband and their much loved Boston Terriers, in 2002 to be near her parents who retired here. Amy’s love of cooking developed when she was a child, as she could usually be found under her mother’s feet, tugging at her apron strings. She wrote her first recipe at age 7, which was, not surprisingly, for donuts. It involved canned biscuit dough, an empty pill bottle (for cutting out the center circle) and “suger”. Since then, Amy has continued to enjoy spending time in the kitchen, cooking for her family and friends, and baking treats for the shut-ins her father visits in his role as a Presbyterian minister. When she is not in the kitchen, Amy loves spending time with her family, volunteering with Boston Terrier Rescue of North Carolina, and playing with the nine (yes, NINE) dogs she and her husband are currently caring for.