Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet Potato Banana Crumble Casserole

Let's face it...unless you live in the South, the only time that most of us think about making anything with sweet potatoes, or yams, is during the holidays. Well not anymore! I must admit that I have given sweet potatoes a fair shot every year...to no avail. Sweet potatoes/yams + me = unhappy tastebuds. Until now! This dish is so good that it could be served for breakfast, a side for dinner or a dessert. I LOVE this casserole! Finally, sweet potatoes and I have a relationship. A wonderful love affair...even my little Grace loves this (minus the crumble, go figure). 

There is very little that happens in the beginning...Preheat the oven at 375°F. Then I take 3 medium yams, rinse them off and pat them dry. Place the yams on a cookie sheet.

Next a bit of stabbing is required. I grab my modest little table fork and stab the front & back of each yam several times. Note to self: Do Not forget to stab yams...they have a very serious temper. For if you fail to do so, they will EXPLODE! Apparently they do not like being warmed at all.
Into the oven they go...for 20 minutes.

Next we have our bananas...3 large ones to be exact.

I remembered 5 minutes into the roasting that there was a sticker on my bananas.
Reminder: Remove sticker from banana before roasting.
After the yams have cooked for 20 minutes, I add my bananas for 15 minutes of roasting. 

After 15 minutes, pull out the bananas. This is when Grace & Rose scrunch up their faces and say "Ewww...Yucky bananas Mama!" And when I spend the next 10 minutes trying to convince them that this is when the bananas are sweet like candy.

The yams still have another 25-30 minutes of roasting, so I allow the bananas to cool a bit. Once they are cool enough to handle, I go ahead and put them in my mixing bowl and whip them for about 10-15 seconds. Just enough to break them down a little before the yams come out and join the party.

Once the yams have finished roasting (after I can insert a fork smoothly into the center of the yam without any resistance), I let them cool for about 10 minutes. Just enough that I can peel away the skin without my fingers feeling on fire.

Toss the yams into the mixing bowl with the bananas and let the whipping commence for about 30 seconds.

Stand back...if the hot mixture doesn't get you, the steam just might. You could do it a bit longer, but I like having a little texture to the dish...not just a smooth paste.

Grab my 2 quart baking dish and start pouring in the banana yam mixture. It smells so good that I have to take a little taste right then...Mmmmm.
Smooth it out...although I don't really need to at this time, I still do just because it looks better.

The zester comes out and I zest 1/2 of a navel orange. This step could be skipped if you aren't a fan of orange zest. I've made it with and without and it's phenomenal either way, but I'm just partial to a little bit of the zest. Stir it in...why I don't whisk it in the mixer...I don't know. I just don't. But you Can. :) Then I smooth it all out again. Now for the topping...my crumble. Really easy to do...can I even stress, really easy.

Take a 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and pour it into a medium mixing bowl.

Add a 3/4 cup of light brown sugar.

I take my cold butter, cube it and add it to the flour & sugar. Next a bit of spice...1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon...

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (freshly grated is even better)...

Now my hands get to get into the mix. I crumble the mixture of sugar, flour and spice with the butter until it's well incorporated and chunky. (For extra crunch you could add 1/4 cup chopped pecans!)

Then I just pour the crumble mixture evenly over the yam & banana mash.

Caramelized Topping (1 Tablespoon more butter)
Crunchy Crumble Topping

Into the oven it goes for another 20-25 minutes. Now, if you have a little bit too much butter in the topping (about a tablespoon more) it will look exactly like this batch...more caramelized than crunchy on top.

Caramelized Topping
Crunchy Crumble Topping
Once everything is finished, and the crumble topping is toasted and crunchy on top, I take this heavenly casserole out of the oven and let it set for 10-15 minutes.

Time to dig in!!! My mouth is in heaven...this is finally a side dish of sweet potatoes/yams that I can enjoy eating.
If you are in need of a dessert fix, then I highly recommend that you try a dab of Dryers Yogurt Blends Tart Honey frozen yogurt...OH MY GOODNESS!!! You've got to try this. Happy Eating!

Sweet Potato Banana Crumble Casserole

Cook Time: 60-75 minutes
Preheat oven to 375°F 

3 Yams/Sweet Potatoes, Medium
3 Bananas, Large
1/2 Whole Orange, Zested
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Light
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg, Ground or Freshly Grated
1/4 Cup Pecans, Chopped (optional)
4 Tablespoons Butter (1/2 stick), cold

Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse off and pat dry yams. Place yams on a baking sheet. Puncture yams with a fork several times on both sides. Bake for 25 minutes.

Place whole bananas onto the cookie sheet with yams. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove bananas and allow yams to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.

Peel bananas and add to a large mixing bowl. Whip 10-15 seconds.

Check tenderness of yams. When a fork can be inserted to the center with ease, yams are done. Remove from oven and allow to sit until cool enough to handle.

Peel yams and add to bananas. Whip about 30 seconds. Add orange zest and stir. Pour mixture into a 2 quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans. Slice and crumble cold butter into bowl. Mix by hand until most of the dry ingredients are mixed into butter crumbles.

Pour crumble evenly over the yam & banana mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crumble topping is bubbly & the sugar has caramelized.
Allow to cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.

For dessert, serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt on top.
Suggested: Dreyer's Yogurt Blends Tart Honey

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