Nothing says autumn like a Sweet Potato Casserole. Except if you’re Canadian, that is. You see, we don’t do sweet potato casserole. And we don’t do that green bean thingy either.
Seriously, when I was 25 a friend moved to St. Louis for a year. She returned and regaled us with tales of Thanksgiving Dinner. I was like, “Really? A can of this and a can of that and a can of those. And you eat it? Wait! Wait! Wait! You put the marshmallows where?”
It was several years before my family and I moved to Florida and I had the chance to try these exotic dishes for myself. Having lived here for awhile, I can now say that I don’t mind them. Or at least, they no longer seem weird to me. But, because I didn’t grow up eating them, because my taste buds don’t tingle with nostalgia for those particular combinations, I have no qualms about changing things up and riffing on the classics.
This dish is a healthified version of Sweet Potato Casserole that substitutes granola for the marshmallows and lets you choose how much sugar you want in the dish. Serve it alongside your turkey and green bean concoction or have it with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Oh, and hey, if you’re like me and you think sweet potatoes shouldn’t be reserved for Thanksgiving, this casserole makes a satisfying meatless main course for fall weeknights: Add extra nuts for a protein kick, omit the maple syrup, cut back on the sugar and serve it with a salad of bitter greens dressed in a lime vinaigrette. That’s what we had for dinner last night and you know what? It turns out this Canadian loves Sweet Potato Casserole after all.
Sweet Potato Crumble Casserole
This twist on the classic Sweet Potato Casserole has a touch of lime and of ginger giving it a subtle tropical feel. If you want more of the tropics, double the ginger and substitute more lime juice for the water. The ranging amounts of maple syrup and of brown sugar are there so that you can decide how sweet you’d like the casserole to be.
- 1 lb Sweet Potatoes cut into small little ½ inch dice
- 0 to 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- ½ tsp salt, divided
- 1-1/2 tsp ground Ginger, divided
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ to ¾ cup packed Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup Flour
- 1-½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Crunchy Coconut Granola or Honey Almond Granola
- 3 ounces Bob’s Red Mil Pecan Halves, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a 9×13” cake pan or a 2.5 quart shallow casserole dish combine the sweet potatoes, maple syrup (if using), water, lime juice, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¾ teaspoon of the ginger.
Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and warm it for 20 seconds at a time until it is completely melted. While the butter is melting, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, being sure to include the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¾ teaspoon of ginger. Add the melted butter and stir until everything is moistened.
Stir the sweet potatoes again just to make sure that they’re well-bathed in juices. Scatter the butter mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes and then use your hands to press down all over so that the topping holds together. Lick some buttery topping off of your fingers and then wash your hands.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the top is well-browned and the sweet potatoes in the middle are fork-tender, 40-60 minutes. If the topping becomes too brown before the potatoes are cooked, cover the top with aluminium foil until the sweet potatoes are tender and then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Christine Pittman is the recipe developer, writer and photographer at Cook the Story, where it’s all about the story (except when it’s about the food!). She’s a Canadian stay-at-home mom who has somehow found herself living in Florida. Her recipes are simple, fresh and from scratch while her writing is simple, fresh and from her funny bone. You don’t want to miss any of her real food, real writing or flavorful pictures so be sure to follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!
© 2012 Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved.