Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut Pecan Crumble

Sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut milk are topped with a toasted coconut, pecan and oat crumble that will make you forget about the traditional marshmallow topping. Savor the contrast between the buttery crunch of the topping and the silky sweet potato purée and pat yourself on the back because there’s very little sugar in this dish. I reduced the brown sugar in the original recipe to 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) and roasted the sweet potatoes, instead of boiling them, to maximize their natural sweetness. It worked beautifully, with guests agreeing that it tasted like dessert. I’ve made this twice now, once with butter and once with coconut spread for a guest who is allergic to dairy, and it was amazing both ways. You can make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it, which makes things a lot easier when you’re making a big meal.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Coconut Pecan Crumble

Serves 6-8, Adapted from OhMyGoodyGoodness

Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds (900 grams) sweet potatoes (3 2/3 cups/ 878 ml cooked and mashed)
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut milk
3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter or coconut spread, melted
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt

Topping

1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped pecans
1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) flaked coconut
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet rice flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) rolled oats (old-fashioned style)
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter or coconut spread, softened

Heat oven to 475° F (246° C). Wash and trim sweet potatoes, then pierce them with a knife and wrap each one in a piece of foil. Put the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and place it in the oven. Bake until the sugar in the sweet potatoes begins to caramelize, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. They will smell like sweet candy and will be very soft when squeezed, often with syrup leaking from the foil. Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.

Peel and mash the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add the coconut milk, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Use a mixer to whip the sweet potatoes. Butter an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) pan and transfer the mixture into it, smoothing the top with a spatula.

Lower the oven temperature to 375° F (190° C). Combine all the topping ingredients except the butter and stir until evenly mixed. Use your hands to mix in the butter, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes. Bake the casserole until the topping is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, and serve warm.

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