For easy entertaining, you can prepare the potatoes ahead of time. Make the topping just before putting them into the oven. Preparation: 20 to 25 minutes, plus cooking and baking times.
31⁄2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, cut in 1⁄2-inch slices
zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄2cup brown sugar (light or dark), firmly packed, divided
5tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
1⁄2cup evaporated fat-free milk
11⁄2teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1⁄2teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1⁄4teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2⁄3cup coarsely chopped pecans
Nutritional information per serving (12 servings): Calories 308 (32% from fat) • carb. 49g • pro. 5g • fat 11g • sat. fat 4g • chol. 69mg • sod. 212mg • calc. 76mg • fiber 6g
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-cup shallow casserole/baking dish with cooking spray. Place the sweet potatoes in a 33⁄4-quart saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add lemon zest and juice. Mash potatoes on speed 2 until smooth, about 40 seconds. Add half the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the butter; mix until well blended, about 40 seconds. Add the evaporated fat-free milk; mix on speed 4 until blended, 30 seconds. Mix in the eggs one at a time on speed 4 until smooth and blended, 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper; mix on speed 1 for 30 seconds. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Place the remaining butter in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan and melt over medium heat. Stir in the remaining brown sugar, half-and-half, remaining salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the pecans and simmer until slightly thickened. Spread this mixture over the sweet potatoes in the casserole. Bake in the preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until heated through and lightly browned on top. Serve hot.