Sweet Potato Casserole
Author Catherine Tillman's grandmother, Sarah Tillman, perfected this dish using a less stringy variety of sweet potatoes called "hernadez". She gets these from her friend in Church Hill, Mississippi, who grows them for Gerber's baby foods.
1⁄2 cup raisins
1⁄3 cup sweet sherry
3 medium sweet potatoes
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp. finely chopped orange zest
1 tsp. pumpkin spice (or 2⁄3 tsp. ground cinnamon,
1⁄4 tsp. ground ginger, pinch ground nutmeg,
and pinch ground allspice)
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup drained pineapple cubes, coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Soak raisins in sherry until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain raisins and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool, then peel, purée (it is best to do this in a food mill), and add to raisins. Add brown sugar, butter, orange juice, orange zest, and pumpkin spice and mix well. Fold in pecans and pineapple and transfer to an 8'' square baking dish.
3. Bake casserole for 20 minutes, then cover with marshmallows and bake until marshmallows are golden, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm.