Another way my Thanksgiving menu differs markedly from that of my mother’s is that I adopted this sweet potato casserole from somewhere that has proven to be exceptionally popular with all the guests who have been to my Thanksgiving table over the years, across the countries and nationalities who have stuffed their faces graciously. No one in my family really cares for sweet potatoes, so it was never part of the menu. I differ in that I am always making things and doing things for others that do not necessarily satisfy me – it is just part of my nature to please. And it is quite true that just because I don’t like something does not mean other people will not.
Sweet potato casserole
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 large), scrubbed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for the preparing the pan
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F (160/170C). Scoop the sweet potato out of the skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
Butter an 8-by-8-inch casserole. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and sprinkle the top with the pecans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.