I made a batch of this last week and on first taste I was transported back to the multi-course meals of my childhood. Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just a weekend visit to her house always meant a large meal where every square inch of the dining room table was covered in serving bowls, platters, and dishes. She always used a formal place setting with family heirloom china and silverware, linen napkins, and always a dessert. The sides were always my favorite parts of her meals – rolls, stuffing (not only for Thanksgiving!), scalloped potatoes, fruit salad, and my all-time favorite – yam soufflé.
I never knew what made her soufflé so delectable, but now I have the secrets. I tell you, eating it was like, to quote another enthusiastic eater I know, “rainbows and unicorns in my mouth!” Read on for her added ingredients that make this casserole the perfect side for any meal, including the upcoming Ode to Eating day – Thanksgiving.
I started by roasting 5 medium – large sweet potatoes at 425° for 30 – 40 minutes or until soft. Or you could skip to canned and puréed sweet potato.
One of the key ingredients in this dish is the orange zest – it gives it a brighter and fresher flavor.
Separating the eggs and adding the whites later gives a fluffier texture.
Beat the egg whites separately until stiff, but not glossy, peaks form.
The entire mixture reminds me of something like orange sherbet. It just looks happy. I was happy at this point, can you tell?
I was starting to get a little giddy for this dish, by this point.
The finished masterpiece. The way this casserole puffs up, crackles, and browns is almost too perfect. Serve it immediately, because refrigerator time makes it less dramatic and less crackled. If you are pinched for time, mix up all ingredients except for egg whites ahead of time. Then, just before baking, beat egg whites, combine with other ingredients, and bake.
Gramma’s Yam Soufflé (from her friend, Cindy)
3 cups mashed yams (sweet potatoes)
1/3 cup sherry or orange juice
1-1/4 cup cream
6 tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 eggs, separated
Combine together: sweet potatoes, sherry or juice, cream, butter, orange zest, pepper, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, and egg yolks. Mix until smooth.
Just before baking, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into sweet potato mixture.
Pour mixture into greased casserole dish and bake at 350° for 45 – 50 minutes, or until golden on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve immediately.