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In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving earlier than our American neighbours do…and this is the start of our Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the Columbus Day holiday below the 49th parallel.
We’ll be gathering with family and friends at the cottage to enjoy each other’s company, delight in how gorgeous autumn is at the lake, and eat turkey, sweet potatoes, other seasonal veggies and, of course, pie.
Hopefully, there will be no falling out of canoes into the lake or rescues conducted in one-oar rowboats, as happened one memorable year. As I recall, that was the same time as the experiment with barbecuing a turkey…Dinner was a little on the late side that year.
Everybody pitches in on Thanksgiving and my contribution is almost always a sweet potato casserole. But not your standard one with marshmallows — don’t get me wrong, I love marshmallows, and have been known to eat them right out of the bag the odd time…. No, this one is almost like a souffle; it’s light and fluffy and just a bit sweet. The not-so-secret ingredients are maple syrup and vanilla, which add a delicate, subtle flavour that really complements the sweet potatoes.
I found the recipe on Epicurious, a terrific website that I use all the time. If you want to try something different, here it is. Enjoy.
Sweet Potato Dish
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, pecans and butter in small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Let stand in colander 15 minutes. Purée sweet potatoes in processor.
Beat eggs, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt in large bowl. Mix in puréed sweet potatoes. Transfer sweet potato mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over mixture.
Bake until sweet potato mixture is set and topping bubbles, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes and serve.