Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel
5 lbs jewel yams (sweet potatoes)
1/2 c half-and-half
1/2 c Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 c Sucanat or other dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/3 c butter, softened
1/2 c chopped pecans
Peel the yams, cut them into chunks, and steam them until fork-tender. Let rest until cool enough to handle.
Place steamed yams in the work bowl of a food processor with half-and-half, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and egg (this may have to be done in batches). Puree until smooth. Spoon potato mixture evenly into a 13"x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Work butter in with your hands until mixture is the texture of wet sand. It should come together when squeezed but crumble apart very easily. The amount of butter you use will depend on the moisture present in your flour; you will need more in dry weather. When the texture is right, stir in the pecans. (This streusel can be prepared a couple of weeks ahead and frozen; bring to room temperature before use.)
Sprinkle streusel over whipped yams. (Casserole can be held at this point for 1 day in refrigerator). Bake covered at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until topping is browned.