the life and times of J T Frey

Sweet Potato Casserole

This casserole was designed to please those folks for whom Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without some sweet potatoes, but to also please those who don't care for a large hunk of orange doused with a sticky, sweet sauce. Sure, in essence this recipe is like lumpy mashed potatoes. But those mashed bits will actually hold on to that tasty sweet sauce rather than letting it running all over your plate. And the unmashed bits have enough texture left that they'll remind those who crave a big hunk-o-yam of what they like best. Everyone's happy — except those who just don't like sweet potatoes, period.


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 oz bourbon (or scotch; use 2 or 3 times as much for a heavier flavor)
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 large sweet potatoes (diced and parboiled)
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger
  3. Continue to stir over medium heat until sugar begins to liquify
  4. Add the liquor and stir for several minutes until alcohol burns off
  5. Add the warm water — carefully! — and continue stirring until the mixture comes together and begins to reduce
  6. Reduce until thickened slightly

Prepare the casserole:

  1. Gently mash about two thirds of the sweet potato cubes
  2. Pour the sauce into the mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly
  3. Fold the remaining sweet potato cubes into the mash

Bake at 375 °F for about 30 minutes, covering with foil if the top begins to brown too much.

Written by Jeff Frey on Monday December 12, 2016
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