I look forward to the Thanksgiving feast all year long. It is a meal I thoroughly enjoy preparing, one of the few times during year I bother getting out the china and crystal that require hand washing. I want everything to be perfect. I plan the meal several months in advance and, although I try at least one new dish a year, we have our family traditions that must be maintained. Since I was a little girl this sweet potato soufflé has been on our Thanksgiving table. Everyone likes it, even the children. One of the big questions each year is who is going to make it: my sister likes her version best, my brother prefers the way he makes it. This, however, is my variation on the theme. It is very simple (sorry, no nuts or marshmallows), and can be made using canned or fresh roasted sweet potatoes. I prefer the canned variety because of the caramel overtones that contribute a nice flavor. This is a dish that can be prepared a day ahead; it tastes best when the flavors have time to mature. It also goes well with ham or a pork roast.
Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Soufflé
4 cups canned sweet potatoes, drained (I use Princella brand cut sweet potatoes in light syrup)
6 large eggs at room temperature, separated
1 c. packed light brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c. unsalted dairy-free margarine or butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking pan or 6-8 cup gratin dish. In a food processor combine sweet potatoes, egg yolks, brown sugar, salt and melted margarine. Pulse until it becomes a smooth purée. Add spices and vanilla and pulse again until well mixed. Turn sweet potato purée out into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the sweet potato purée. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the soufflé is puffed up and has set in the middle. Cool on rack. Serves 8.