We opted for a nutty crumb topping over marshmallows to create a pleasantly crunchy contrast to the creamy and soft mashed sweet potatoes. The filling gets a pumpkin pie-like treatment, with brown sugar and vanilla for a deep caramel flavor and butter and eggs for richness. This recipe is bound to become a holiday staple.
For the sweet potatoes: Add 1 3/4 pounds peeled and cubed sweet potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Mash the sweet potatoes.
For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Whisk together the butter, mashed sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl until moist and the mixture clumps together. Stir in the pecans. Spread the mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Bake until mostly set in the center and golden on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.
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