Thursday, November 24, 2011

Praline Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Casserole

I've made this the last Christmas and Thanksgiving I've hosted and it's always a hit!

1 butternut squash
3 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon of allspice
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, beaten
Approximately 1/2 cup of heavy cream
Praline Topping, recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F to roast the squash and sweet potatoes.

Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibers and rinse. Place the squash on a jellyroll pan and drizzle with olive oil, turn over and cook cut side down. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes, prick with a knife and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for about one hour, or until tender. Sometimes the sweet potatoes will take longer to cook; insert a knife to test and leave in the oven longer if needed. Remove and let cool.

When you are ready to make the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter or spray a 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and the sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl with a flat paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth; add in the sugar, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and eggs. Blend well and add just enough cream to moisten as needed. Mixture should be fairly thick. Spread evenly in casserole dish. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans and sprinkle over the squash/sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. If you miss your marshmallows, sprinkle the top with a few miniature marshmallows and return the casserole to the oven just until melted and lightly browned.

Serves about 6 - double for the holidays.

Praline Topping:

10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
10 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Whole pecan halves for garnish, optional

Melt the butter. Meanwhile mix the brown sugar, flour and pecans in a small bowl. Pour the butter into the brown sugar mixture and stir with a fork until well mixed. Sprinkle the pecan mixture all over the top of the casserole.

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