SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE WITH ALMOND-STREUSEL TOPPING…

This is an Ann Lund recipe…
This is one of my family’s favorite Thanksgiving side dishes!!

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STREUSEL TOPPING

½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped slivered almonds or pecans
CASSEROLE

3 lbs. sweet potatoes
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 oz. lite cream cheese, cut into small pieces
¼ cup orange juice
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup cream

TO MAKE STREUSEL TOPPING: In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (If you don’t have a pastry blender, use a fork to cut the butter into the flour mixture.) Add the almonds or pecans and, using your hands, toss until all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE CASSEROLE
: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Place the potatoes in a large pot or bowl and mash until smooth. Add the butter and cream cheese and mix until melted. Add orange juice, cinnamon, and cream and mix thoroughly. (It is much easier to blend in these ingredients when the potatoes are still warm.) Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 13 X 9 glass pan. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top is golden brown.

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