Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on the oven rack and bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. When the potatoes are finished cooking, let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slice them open lengthwise and scrape out the flesh with a fork into a large bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
Add the granulated sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and salt to the bowl with the sweet potatoes. Mash the mixture with a potato masher until combined and slightly lumpy-you don't want it to be perfectly smooth.
Now, in a separate bowl, mash the brown sugar, pecans, flour and butter with a pastry cutter or fork until thoroughly combined. The mixture should resemble a crumble.
Spread the sweet potato mixture in a 14-cup oval-shaped baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Photographs by Kang Kim
Recipe courtesy Ree Drummond for Food Network Magazine