Recipes from Home: Brianna's Sweet Potato Casserole

I first moved to Ireland in November 2018. It didn't make sense to turn around and visit America less than a month into my move, so my partner's family put on a Thanksgiving to make me feel less homesick. After hearing about "the marshmallow thing" and how positively gross it sounded, I had to defend my southeastern heritage and bring Sweet Potato Casserole to the table. This is the recipe my own Chinese mother loves, a "not too sweet" version using maple syrup instead of copious amounts of brown sugar that also results in a high fibre snack while you're in a flurry of cooking. Try to find American marshmallows if you can, I've found the UKI ones don't melt quite right for the casserole.

Brianna's Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

4lb sweet potatoes
1tbsp olive oil
Sprinkle of salt
1/2 c butter, unsalted
1/2 c maple syrup
Brown sugar to taste (demerara or piloncillo are good substitutes if brown is too hard to come by)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Bag of miniature jet puffed marshmallows

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (375°F convection)
2. Wash sweet potato and trim off edges (no more than 1/2 inch). Prick with fork all over, lightly cover in olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Line baking tray with parchment paper, roast sweet potatoes for 40 min or until soft when pricked with a knife.
2. Turn oven down to 350°F (325°F convection)
3. Peel skin off sweet potato (should come off easily after roasting) and eat while waiting for potatoes to cool slightly.
4. Once potatoes aren't steaming, mash until soft and creamy. Fold in butter, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and cloves, adding brown sugar if you want to make it a little sweeter. When seasoned to taste, mix in one egg (this makes the potatoes fluffier and creamier, almost like a custard).
5. Add sweet potatoes to 9x9 baking dish, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
6. Top with marshmallows to your heart's content, then continue to bake until marshmallows puffed and golden brown.

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