Sunday, November 8, 2009

Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Classic old fashioned souffled sweet potato casserole topped in the traditional way with gooey marshmallows, or if you prefer, a praline topping.
Classic old fashioned souffled sweet potato casserole topped in the traditional way with gooey marshmallows, or if you prefer, a praline topping.

Sweet Potato Casserole


I don't know what it is about sweet potatoes fluffed up souffle like and topped with gooey marshmallows, but we sure love this dish down here in The Deep South and it is a rare Southern table that is not graced with it on Thanksgiving or Christmas, or both.

Although a pone can refer to many different dishes, including cornbread, you may have heard this dish referred to as sweet potato pone.
By the way.... I'm interrupting the post here to remind you that this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
As always in different regions of the South, recipe ingredients for a pone do vary widely, but I have noted that sweet potato pone is rarely topped with anything at all. It is more of a simple bake, seasoned with classic pie spices and perhaps a little denser than what we are accustomed to in a sweet potato casserole.

In New Orleans, a sweet potato pone was called pain patate in years past, where it was made with grated sweet potatoes, and often includes flour, making it much denser and nearly a cake-like pudding, and often included a pinch of cracked black pepper to offset the sweetness of the sugar.

Yes, we know it gets a bad rap from some folks, particularly those who don't have the privilege of living in our beautiful South.

They make fun of it and us and call it names.

And they make fun of Southerners for loving it, but we love it, so when you insult it, know that you are also insulting hundreds of thousands of Southern folks who love it, bless your heart.

It's really okay if you prefer a praline topping over the marshmallows too. We southerners have been known to top a few things with pecans here and there and so we might know a thing or two about that too.

Or... top it with whatever you like, something out of the ordinary even. I have indeed seen some strange things in the name of a sweet potato casserole, but mini marshmallows or praline topping is the way we usually roll Down South.

It is simply traditional for us.

My recipe includes a praline topping if you'd rather that over the gooey marshmallows or go crazy and do both!

And, like I ask regarding our beloved cream soups found in traditional holiday dishes like Green Bean Casserole, I'd like to also ask that you please stop trash talkin' this classic too, if you don't mind.

Remember mama's advice that if you don't have something nice to say, well.. if you're a proper southerner, you know the rest.

This recipe serves about 6 or so as written. For the holidays double it. While you're here, be sure to click on over to browse more traditional southern Thanksgiving recipes, or check out our Christmas recipes too.

Here's how to make my version of sweet potato casserole.

You'll need about 3 cups or so of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes. You can boil, bake or microwave them, whatever is your favorite way. 


You may also substitute canned yams, which in the United States are really canned sweet potatoes and not yams at all. Yes y'all, we are well aware that actual "yams" are not sweet potatoes and you can read more about that on my sweet potato page, where, by the way you'll find all kinds of ways to enjoy them. When you pick up a can of "candied yams" in the United States, like these Bruce's brand, you'll see that underneath the word "yams," there appears the words "cut sweet potatoes." 

For this recipe you'll want about 3 (16 ounce) cans of candied yams, drained (like Bruce's brand), however, remember, these are generally speaking stewed in syrup, so you'll need to adjust sugar down accordingly to taste, or even eliminate it.


Just to be clear, I'm using fresh sweet potatoes here. Once they are cooked, mash them up with the butter.


Add half of the sugar at first.


Then all of the spices, salt, vanilla and half and half.


Mash it up well and taste. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.


Add the eggs and beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Pour into the casserole dish.


Transfer that to a 1 to 1-1/2 quart buttered baking dish, cover and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes, until everything is heated through well.


Remove, uncover and spread marshmallows on the top.


Bake uncovered about 10 minutes longer, or until marshmallows are nicely browned, but keep an eye on them so you don't burn the top. Marshmallows will puff up as they cook so for insurance, you may want to bake the casserole on an aluminum foil covered pan. It's much easier to clean that than it is to clean the bottom of the oven!


For more of my favorite sweet potato recipes, check out my collection on Pinterest!






Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.





Posted by on November 8, 2009

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Made with canned yams.
181127/131107
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