Aunt Linda’s Sweet Potato Casserole

IMG_5017My sweet auntie shared this recipe twenty four years ago and we’ve indulged several times a year ever since.  She lives in North Carolina so it’s a bonafide southern dish, but I have to admit that I “northerned” it up a bit by cutting out quite a bit of butter and sugar (there is still plenty left- trust me!)   Last week over lunch I shared with my co-workers my dismay at how much butter and sugar southerners put in sweet potato casserole – I watched as shock and confusion flashed through their faces before they fell off their chairs laughing at me.  I may not recover from this one…..

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Denali helping with the harvest- amazing how big they grew in a drought!

Sweet potatoes are one of the easiest crops to grow here- and they get huge!!  Last year I had several seven pounders and this year my neighbors grew a ten pounder!!  I love to add them to soups and chilis, but my husband shared his “anti squash and sweet potato” gene with most of his children so I am forced to be sneaky.  This casserole is so delish they forget they don’t like sweet potatoes !  And it’s not just for Thanksgiving; it’s a great side dish for salmon and chicken too.  Or just make it for dessert:)

Filling 

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup evaporated milk (or half and half, or any sort of milk you like)

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup honey)

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon (I always add more!)

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all these ingredients and pour into a greased 2 quart or 8×8 casserole dish  

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

Topping:

1 cup crushed corn flakes (takes several cups to make 1 cup of crushed)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup nuts

Add topping and continue to bake at 350 for another 15 minutes 

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I bake them like this in the oven, usually the day before I want to make the casserole.  They are easy to peel once cooled off.  Sometimes I bake, peel and then freeze the mashed potato for later.

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