Gramma’s Yam Souffle

yam.souffle

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.

sweet potatoes

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.

orange

One of the key ingredients in this dish is the orange zest – it gives it a brighter and fresher flavor.

mixer

Separating the eggs and adding the whites later gives a fluffier texture.

egg.whites

Beat the egg whites separately until stiff, but not glossy, peaks form.

mixing

Egg whites are like clouds, I tell ya.
batter

The entire mixture reminds me of something like orange sherbet.  It just looks happy.  I was happy at this point, can you tell?

pre.baked

I was starting to get a little giddy for this dish, by this point.

souffle

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.

A Man’s Favorite {Applesauce Cake}

cake

I made a cake from my Gramma’s recipe box this week – A Man’s Favorite (Applesauce Cake).  It was a perfect cake for a weeknight fall meal – simple flavors, ingredients I had on hand, fast to mix up, and made a smaller-than-most sized cake.  My gramma got this recipe from a friend of hers from when they lived in Texas – I just love her penciled in addition of Applesauce Cake after A Man’s Favorite.  I have to wonder if someone was being cheeky naming the cake this, or were they serious and it was the man’s favorite?

 batter

I especially liked the addition of my homemade applesauce and a full cup of raisins.

frosted

I added a quick powdered sugar glaze by whisking together until smooth: 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-2 teaspoons almond milk.  

I don’t have much to report on right now – I’ve been busy with some big projects at work, wrapping up some artworks and fun decorating ideas at home, and I have been trying to squeeze in as much outside time as I can right now.  It is the most ideal weather right now, in my book, 50s and 60s in the mornings and 70s in the afternoon.  Walking, biking, and enjoying my fair city has been at the top of my agenda.

A Man’s Favorite {Applesauce Cake} 

1/2 cup crisco (I used margarine)

1 cup sugar

1 cup seedless raisins

1 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons hot water

(Optional: add about 3/4 cup of nuts walnuts or pecans)

Blend crisco, sugar, and egg thoroughly in one operation.  Add raisins and applesauce.  Then add the spices and salt with flour, and add in several portions.  Before the last of the flour is added, stir in the soda dissolved in hot water.  Beat well, pour into a greased loaf or tube pan and bake about 1/2 hour in a 350°.  (I found it to take about 1 hour to bake thoroughly, but test it with a knife, in the center, to see if it comes out clean).