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:
3/4 cup sectioned satsuma or tangerine, mandarin or regular orange, remove seeds and membrane
Salt to taste
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.