Bourbon Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole with a Pecan Crust

Recipe Summary

  • Preparation: Easy
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 large MicroBaker Yams/Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1⅓ cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 slices fresh ginger, cut &frac/4; inch thick, unpeeled, crushed
  • 2 star anise, whole
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 inches long
  • 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp plus 2 tsp bourbon
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1¾ lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored, thinly sliced

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Following MicroBaker Yam/Sweet Potato instructions on the package, place unopened, sealed MicroBaker Yam/Sweet Potato in microwave. Do not puncture holes in wrap! Cook on HIGH for 6-8 minutes. Cooking times may vary. For 2 MicroBakers, cook 4 additional minutes. (For well cooked MicroBaker Yams/Sweet Potatoes, do not cook more that 2 yams/sweet potatoes at a time.) Potatoes may whistle in microwave. Use caution when removing MicroBakers from microwave, they will be hot! Pull easy open strip and let cool.
  • Discard the skins and put the flesh in a medium mixing bowl. With a potato masher, work the sweet potatoes until they are well mashed (they don’t have to be perfectly smooth). Set aside.
  • Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and combine with the pecans, breadcrumbs, parsley, and two big pinches of salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine the heavy cream, ginger, star anise, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil (watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over) and remove from the heat immediately. Let steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a liquid measuring cup, pressing down on the solids with a spatula to extract all of the liquid. Stir in 2 Tbsp of the bourbon, the vanilla extract, and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside.
  • In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, season with ¼ tsp salt, and toss well. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Lower the heat if the apples are getting too dark, but not so much that they soften without browning. Turn off the heat, carefully add the remaining 2 tsp bourbon and stir until it evaporates, a few seconds. Pour in ⅓ cup of the cream mixture and stir until the apples have absorbed most of it, a few more seconds. Set the pan aside and let the apples cool for about 15 minutes, turning them occasionally to release steam.
  • To assemble the casserole, butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Add the remaining cream mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt. Arrange the apples across the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the sweet potato mixture over the apples in an even layer. Top with the pecan-crumb mixture.
  • Bake the casserole in the 375°F oven until the crumb topping is dark brown and the casserole is heated through, about 25 minutes

Source:  Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2009 issue