ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole: A Family Favorite

Updated on November 26, 2015

Every sweet potato casserole recipe is different. This one has fruity surprises folded into it--cranberries at Thanksgiving and Christmas, raisins at Halloween, jellybeans at Easter, etc. As a family favorite, it doubles as a dessert. At holiday potlucks, it is sure to bring comment.

Attending get-togethers as a man, I was usually asked to bring dinner rolls, chips, sodas or a plate of finger food from the deli. But one day I made a casserole, and they’ve asked me to bring the same thing ever since.

That’s boring, so I try to vary it every time. The first step, of course, is to gather the ingredients. I didn’t measure anything this time, but here’s what I have written down:

Typical ingredients

5 stars from 3 ratings of Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 8-12 servings in 2-qt casserole

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (3 lbs) sweet potatoes, peeled, cut up
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar, preferably dark brown
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1 apple or pear
  • 1/3 - 1 cup cranberries, craisins or raisins, (optional)
  • 1/3 cup marshmallows, (optional)

Preparing and cooking

Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them up and cook them in the water. In a pot, bring the water to a boil and then turn it down to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. One cup is not much water, so keep it covered and be sure that it doesn’t boil away. You don’t want to have a lot of excess, though, because we’ll use the water and preserve the vitamins.

While that’s simmering, you can prepare any optional ingredients. The key here is to add ingredients that will contrast with the potato in sweetness, tartness, texture or color. Chunks of apple or pear are an example that I almost always include. Peel, core and cut it up into chunks about ½”. Pears are best if unripe and don't need to be peeled. If you use pecans or walnuts, chop them into pieces about ¼”. Any finer than that doesn’t noticeably add texture.

Combining with “surprises”

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, combine them in a mixing bowl with the cooking water and all ingredients except fruits, marshmallows or any other soft “surprises.” Mash this thoroughly.

Start layering the mixture into a casserole dish, sprinkling in a couple of layers of apples, cranberries, raisins, marshmallows, jellybeans, whole pecans, whatever surprise your particular event calls for. Be creative, but conservative. It’s hard to put in too much apple, but for anything else, too little is better than too much.

Baking

Bake at 350° F uncovered for 30 minutes or covered for 45. The time depends on how moist the mixture is and how warm it is by the time you get it into the oven. Moisture content can be hard to judge. I usually start with it covered and check after about 20 minutes. If condensation is starting to appear on the lid or it's starting to bubble around the edges, it's too wet and I finish it uncovered. If there's no condensation, it may be too dry, so I add about 1/4 cup of water—too much just won't be absorbed—around the edges.

Anything more than 45 minutes is going to turn apples or especially pears into unidentifiable mush. Since raw cranberries seem to require a minimum of 20 minutes baking time to soften, I like to soften them separately in the microwave for about 60 seconds or until I hear one pop.

The last 5 minutes, scatter a few marshmallows on top. Make a smiley face, spell out his initials, whatever. Then put it back in uncovered until they just begin to turn golden brown on top. Don't do this very long before it's time to serve, however, because the heat in the casserole will continue to melt the marshmallows into craters of translucent sweetness.

You can prepare this the day before and bake it the next day, which would require more baking time to heat all the way through. A good compromise is to peel the potatoes ahead of time.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • ktrapp profile image

    Kristin Trapp 

    7 years ago from Illinois

    Howard, I love sweet potatoes and often make a sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving. It never occurred to me that I could add a layer of apples. That sounds absolutely wonderful and I am definitely going to try it out.

  • annmackiemiller profile image

    annmackiemiller 

    7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

    this looks great - going on my try-it-out list :0)

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    7 years ago from North Carolina

    I love sweet potato casserole and you are right-there are so many versions. Nice recipe. Looks delish.

  • Ms Dee profile image

    Deidre Shelden 

    7 years ago from Texas, USA

    It sure is yummy!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)