I posted this picture yesterday as an example of how many sweet potatoes it takes to feed my family for Thanksgiving. To be fair, there are enough here for several different events, but I did indeed cook all 24lbs at the same time. My oven was crammed, but I managed to squeeze them all in.
When I got married 31+ years ago my husband told me there were only two things he wanted me to learn to cook like his mother did, and sweet potato souffle was one of them. When I tasted hers I knew why! I grew up eating what we called sweet potato souffle but was really just canned yams mashed up and marshmallows toasted on top. Don’t get me wrong, I love toasted marshmallows, but I will never ever put them on top of sweet potatoes again. I’ll also never ever buy sweet potatoes in a can!
Wherever I take this dish people always ask for the recipe, and today was no different. Expediency is something I strive for, so instead of continuing to write it out, text it to family, email it to friends, or worse forget when someone asks for it, I will now just be able to tell people to go find it on my hodge-podge blog. One day I might find a template that lays it out better. Until then there is always the search field.
So without further adieu here is the recipe for Sweet Potato Sou-fah-lay (Abigail’s pronounciation.) Keep in mind that I don’t do “recipes” so this is a guestimation.
- 3-4 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (I always bake mine and make the recipe while they are still warm. It can be refrigerated or frozen to cook later, just wait to put the topping on until you are cooking it.)
- 2 large eggs (preferably pasture raised which is different than “cage free”)
- 4 TBL butter (softened if your sweet potatoes are no longer warm enough to melt the butter)
- 1/4 – 1/2 c sugar (sweeten to taste but remember you are going to top it with sugar too)
- 1 .5 tsp – 1 TBL vanilla (yes, that is a lot of vanilla, but it is what makes this dish so yummy <along with the topping>)
Put all these in a bowl together and beat on med speed until fluffy and the color lightens. Make sure the potatoes have cooled enough to not cook the eggs but are warm enough to melt the butter. You might be tempted to add cinnamon. Don’t. The vanilla is enough. Trust me. Pour this into a buttered glass dish. I generally double the recipe for a 9 x 12 dish.
The praline topping is what makes the dish (that and the vanilla!) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you mix it up.
- 1/3 c flour (I use gf Cup4Cup brand)
- 1/4 c cold butter
- 1 c packed brown sugar
Mix the flour and the sugar together well, and then use a potato masher or two knives to cut in the butter. I continue to mix with my hands until it is a crumble. If the butter is too soft it will become a pasty mess which makes it difficult to sprinkle evenly across the top of the souffle. Adding chopped pecans is optional, but my family prefers it without. If cooked correctly the topping will become a sheet of praline-like, crunchy, caramelized sugar. I will sometimes cook it at 350 with other dishes, but the higher heat is necessary at the end of the cook time for the topping properly caramelize. Cook for 30-45 mins until the entire top is bubbling and beginning to brown. I will sometimes turn the oven to broil if it isn’t bubbly. If you do that be SURE to stand watch or it will burn. I set a timer for one minute or stand with the oven door cracked.
Please let me know if you try the recipe what you think. I personally think this is the best sweet potato dish I’ve ever had! If I get around to it I will post a picture of a cooked souffle so you can see what the top is supposed to look like.