5 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, such as garnet or jewel, scrubbed (often labeled yams) 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter or ¾ cup unrefined coconut oil, melted, divided 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt + a pinch 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg, divided 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup 1 cup whole milk or plain, unsweetened hemp milk 3 large eggs, beaten 1 cup pecan halves or pieces, about 4 ounces 1 cup cornflakes, crushed ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ cup maple sugar or brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until tender, about an hour, but could be more depending on size. You can also boil peeled, cubed sweet potatoes in water for 15 minutes or until tender and drain.
2. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
3. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin and place potatoes in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Do this in batches if necessary.
4. Transfer the puree to a large bowl. Add half the butter (6 Tbs.), salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, maple syrup, and milk. Stir to combine and then stir in the eggs. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Recipe can be made up to this point one day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
5. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer the pecans to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In a bowl, toss the pecans with the cornflakes, cinnamon and remaining 6 Tbs. melted butter, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
6. Remove foil from casserole. Distribute small clumps of topping all over sweet potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes longer, until topping is golden and sizzling. Let casserole stand for 20 minutes before serving. ( I have also baked it covered for 30 minutes, uncovered for 30 and it still turned out great!) You can bake this up to 4 hours in advance and serve it warm or at room temperature.