It isn't often that I vote to reinvent the classics. But at Thanksgiving, Mr. Food Musings' sister R. bowled me over with a whole new take on sweet potato casserole. Throw out your stale marshmallows and try this one at your next celebration -- Christmas, Hannukah, the next Kate Spade sample sale, whatever.
(And let me know if, like me, you were tempted to just throw a scoop of vanilla on top and call it dessert!)
Sweet Potato Apple Casserole
R. credits her college roommate's sister with the recipe. We modified it somewhat from the original, substituting apples for pears, using a mix of orange yams and yellow sweet potatoes to make it purty, and fiddling with the amounts of most of the ingredients to suit us. We also made 1 1/2 times the original recipe because we had nine hungry bellies, and it worked out grand. For the recipe below, I'd use a medium-sized casserole dish, but if you're going to double it for a bigger crew, pull out the Big Boy (9x13).
2 - 3 medium yams and/or sweet potatoes, boiled in jackets till tender, then peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cranberries
1 large apple (or pear), peeled and thinly sliced
3 TBSP butter
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a casserole dish with cooking spray or butter, then layer in half the yams/sweet potatoes. Mix brown sugar, salt and cinnamon, and sprinkle yams/sweet potatoes with half of the brown sugar mixture and 1/2 cup of cranberries. Top with a layer of the remaining yams, then a layer of apple, and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar goodness. Dot with butter and toss on the remaining 1/2 cup cranberries. Pour orange juice over top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with walnuts; bake 5 minutes more.