Amanda Hesser's Sweet Potato Casserole


Bake a homey, pecan-topped casserole with this recipe from "The Essential New York Times Cookbook," by Amanda Hesser.Also try: James Beard's Pureed Parsnips


For the Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 large sweet potatoes

  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

For the Topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly softened

  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • ¼ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • ¾ cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Make the sweet potatoes: Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until very tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

  3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop flesh into a bowl and mash until smooth. You should have 4 to 5 cups of mashed sweet potato. Stir in brown sugars, eggs, orange juice, butter, vanilla, and salt; transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.

  4. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Transfer to oven and bake until nuts are toasted and casserole has puffed, about 30 minutes. Serve.

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