Crunchy Topped Sweet Potatoes with Orange

a perfect side dish, 
not too sweet...

This is a version of an old-style recipe using southern sweet potato with local satsumas. A flavorful combination with a sweeten pecan crust on top, this side dish is great anytime of the year, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas time alike.

Many folks use the names sweet potato and yam interchangeably and that is fine with me. However, I like to know which one I am using in a recipe for the outcome might be sweeter than desired. You see, yams have a higher starch content and after cooking, are actually sweeter since the starch converts to sugar while cooking. Yam ends are usually not as pointed as sweet potatoes. So, how do you know? This is how I was taught:

Tan or yellowish orange skins with vivid orange flesh - that's a sweet potato. 
Reddish dark brown, blackish skin with cream or reddish purple flesh - that's a yam. 

Crunchy Topped Sweet Potatoes with Orange
about 6 servings

3 very large sweet potatoes
crunchy praline topping
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup Southern Comfort, bourbon or dark rum
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup sectioned satsuma or tangerine, mandarin or regular orange, remove seeds and membrane
Salt to taste

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees until tender, between 45 minutes to 1 hour. Smash each potato, cut off stringy ends and remove outer skins. Combine potatoes with the next five ingredients using a mixer or food processor whipping well. Fold in the orange sections, add salt to taste and spread into a buttered 2-quart baking dish.

Mix the topping mixture together and spread over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot.

Note: If using yams, cut the sugar in the potato mixture to 1/4 cup.


  1. Oh my how I love this...This is delightfully different than my usual sweet potato dish.
    This may just be a staring dish around here this season :)

  2. Oh, I love this dish, too, and it looks and sounds fabulous! I just bought some satsumas, today, and can't wait to try them! And I love the crunchy praline topping, too! Yummo!

  3. Have to love the run in this. Alcholic sweet potatoes ... or yams.... The topping is perfect. Forget the bacon on white potatoes and give me this crunchy pecan with my sweet.(potatoes)

  4. What a great variation. I am not a fan of the marshmallow stuff, but this, with the orange, might be delightful. Thanks for the easy to remember way to distinguish yams from sweet potatoes.

  5. I just love the health values all the way around in sweet potatoes over white. I could eat them like this all year, these are wonderful, nice job! Great job with the tip on Southern Comfort, I usually use Amaretto, but will have to try this way, really sounds awesome!

  6. how delicious. I really like sweet potatoes especially around this time of the year.

  7. Holy moses, this is amazing.

    Keep some of that bourbon on the side to wash it down with. Shewwwwie! That's some good eats

  8. This sounds fantastic. Sweet potatoes (and yams) were a new experience for me when I moved to the south and I've still been experimenting with the way I like them best. I love praline toppings to I'll give this a try. Many thanks for passing along your recipe!

  9. The orange is a wonderful touch, Drick. Thank you for saving us from the dreaded marshmallow topping!

  10. southern comfort + sweet potatoes+ Pecans=delish!!


  11. Love this recipe, Drick. This or one very similar will surely be on my Thanksgiving table this year. It's the praline topping that I can't resist. Plus just that little drop of Southern Comfort.

  12. This sounds like a really amazing idea to top sweet potato with orange. It sounds yummy and flavourful. I must try this :)


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