Sweet Potato Casserole with Pistachio Crust – Save the Mini Marshmallows for Your Hot Chocolate!

Of all the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, sweet potato casserole scares me the most. Luckily, for the vast majority of holiday meals, I’ve been the one who got to decide on and cook the menu. But there have been the rare occasions when I’ve been a guest at someone’s home, and subjected to the horror that is the mini marshmallow-topped dish of sweet potatoes.

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to food, I’m as opened-minded as anyone...hey, one time, I actually ate a McRib...but I just don’t understand taking something already as sweet as sweet potatoes, and topping it with one of the sweetest ingredients ever.

Sure, my topping has some brown sugar in it, but I think it’s balanced nicely by the crunchy savoriness of the pistachios. I also forgo the usual scoop of sugar in the filling for a much smaller amount of maple syrup (which, contrary to what you learned in school, is a one-syllable word).

The result is a rich and decadent, yet not cloyingly sweet side dish. By the way, as I mention in the video, the sweet potatoes I used may be called “yams” at the store, but the fact is that all yams sold in American supermarkets are really varieties of sweet potatoes.

Having said that, my recommendation is for using “Garnet Yams,” if you can find them. If you can’t, literally any other variety will do. I hope you give this great side dish recipe a try. Enjoy!

For the sweet potatoes:
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
salt to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of allspice
pinch of cayenne
For the pistachio crust:
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (I used roasted, salted)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp melted butter