Sweet Potato Casserole

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Serves 8 to 10

6 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper

Filling/ Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Wrap the potatoes in foil and place in the oven to bake until soft to the touch, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the foil and cool enough to handle. Slip off and discard the skins and place the potatoes in a large bowl.
Reduce the oven to 350°F.

Add the half-and-half, maple syrup, eggs, butter, orange zest and juice, salt and black pepper and mash with a potato masher to blend well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Topping/ Place the pecans, flour, brown sugar, butter, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour and pecans using your fingertips, until the mixture is combined and crumbly.

Assemble/ Sprinkle the topping evenly over the potatoes and place in the oven to bake about 40 minutes, until the topping is golden-brown and the potatoes are heated through and bubbling around the edges. Remove from the oven and serve warm.