In Mississippi, a good family recipe starts with a stick of butter and ends with chopped pecans. This Thanksgiving side dish, passed down through my Southern family on my mom's side, proves that sweet potatoes can be comforting and indulgent without moving into marshmallow-topping territory.
When I show up to a Thanksgiving celebration with this dish, everyone's first question is, what's pone? Somewhere between a casserole and a custard, sweet potato pone has a consistency that calls to mind bread pudding or cornbread dressing, and the grated potatoes and pecans combine to create a crispy, browned topping.
Though "sweet potato pone" has a nicer ring to it, yams are just as yummy. I highly recommend grating them in the food processor if you have one, and this becomes a quick and easy recipe. Serve it as a side dish during the Thanksgiving meal; I like to make it the last thing I eat on my plate. The leftovers also make a delicious Friday morning breakfast. Learn how to bake up this sweet potato side.
3 cups raw sweet potatoes or yams, grated (about 2 large potatoes) Makes 8 servings.
1/2 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/3 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 cups raw sweet potatoes or yams, grated (about 2 large potatoes)
Makes 8 servings.