In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.
Southerners love to over-sugar their sweet potatoes, making most recipes resemble a dessert rather than a side dish. And although I was raised on a saccharine sweet potato casserole piled high with toasted marshmallows (and still swear by the beloved tradition), it seems jet-puffed sweet potatoes are falling out of favor for recipes with a more “refined” profile. So why not embrace sweet potato casserole’s sugary roots and consider serving it alongside your dessert spread? After all, the only thing missing from the candied casserole is a flaky buttered crust. This delicious twist on the classic is the perfect way to get your holiday sweet potato fix and put all of those marshmallow haters to shame.
This pie stems from numerous experiments based off my heirloom family recipe — just a few tweaks here and a few changes there — to create the ultimate sweet potato casserole-as-pie. I always roast my sweet potatoes (as opposed to boiling) to intensify their flavors and allow natural caramel undertones to shine through. Instead of my usual heavy cream, however, I added sweetened condensed milk and doubled the number of eggs, resulting in a velvety-smooth texture more suitable for a pie. And while lots of sweet potato pie recipes call for a bevy of overwhelming spices, I find they mask the true character of the simple Southern dish. A splash of spiced rum and some vanilla bean paste are just enough to add complexity without concealing the subtle sweet potato flavor.
Sweet Potato Casserole Pie with Marshmallow Praline Topping
Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Serves: 8 to 10
For the filling:
2 pounds (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, such as Beauregard, Garnet or Jewel
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon spiced rum, such as Meyers’s (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
One 9-inch favorite pie crust, cooked and cooled
For the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup miniature marshmallows, or to taste
For the filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick sweet potatoes several times with a paring knife and place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Cook potatoes until very tender when inserted with a knife, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cut potatoes in half and allow to cool.
Peel the potatoes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with beater blade. (Alternately use an electric mixer.) Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and add the condensed milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, rum, vanilla paste and salt. Mix until just combined. Transfer the filling to the cooked pie crust
For the topping: Mix the brown sugar, flour and pecans in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and gently stir with a fork until well-combined and small pebble-sized pieces remain throughout.
Distribute the praline topping evenly over the pie filling; sprinkle marshmallows over the top. Bake the pie at 400 degrees F until just set in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Nealey moved from Alabama to the West Coast to follow her dreams, only to realize once there how much she missed good ol’ country cooking. So she took to the kitchen and began re-creating the dishes of her past, but this time without any help from a can. What started out as a hobby turned into an obsession, so she quit her day job to pursue cooking, and eating, fulltime. Dixie Caviar is where you can follow her pursuits of all things Southern.