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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Sweet Potato Pecan Crisp

Add this sweet potato pecan crisp to your Thanksgiving side dish offerings. (Audrey Alfaro)
Add this sweet potato pecan crisp to your Thanksgiving side dish offerings. (Audrey Alfaro)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

If you’re searching for another addition to your holiday spread, look no further. You’ve found it.

Say hello to sweet potato pecan crisp – luscious, crunchy and insanely delicious. Like eye-rolling delicious.

The creamy combination of roasted sweet potatoes, mashed with sugar, eggs, butter, evaporated milk and spices, is perfectly contrasted with the sweet, nutty, crunch of a topping full of pecans and oats.

And don’t even think about using canned sweet potatoes. The flavor and texture just won’t be right. And be sure to bake, not boil, your potatoes, as roasting them brings out the natural sugar and gives them deep caramelized flavor. Also, after spooning the flesh out, don’t toss the skin, eat them! They’re a nutritious mouthwatering snack on they’re own, full of fiber, potassium and vitamins.

This dish can be made into individual servings, and also, a day or two in advance, making it an excellent choice for holiday entertaining.

While there’s debate on whether this is a side dish or a dessert, there’s no question you’ll be eating it as both – then sneaking out of bed to have it as a midnight snack, then for breakfast with your morning coffee and then eagerly awaiting your lunch break at work to dive into the leftover decadence.

That is, if there are leftovers.

I’m gonna go ahead and say, “You’re welcome,” because you’ll be thanking me later for all the praise, compliments, and happy bellies. And also because I’ve just introduced you to your new go-to recipe.

Sweet Potato Pecan Crisp

Adapted from

For the sweet potatoes:

8-10 sweet potatoes

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the topping:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Prick the potatoes with a fork and place them on baking sheet.

Bake until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. While potatoes are cooling, grease a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish or pan, set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop or squeeze out insides into a large bowl and mash with potato masher or with a hand mixer until smooth.

Add in sugar, eggs, butter, evaporated milk, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend thoroughly and spread into prepared dish.

For the topping, add all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingers, combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the sweet potatoes and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until topping has lightly browned. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: To prepare ahead of time, make the sweet potato filling a day or two before needed. Spread into prepared baking dish, cover and keep refrigerated. You may also pre-make the topping, cover and refrigerate it. To bake, let casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then sprinkle on topping and bake as directed.

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