Roasted sweet potatoes are chunkily mashed with a mix of melted butter, bourbon, and orange zest for loads of flavor without being too boozy-tasting. Then they’re rebaked in a casserole dish with a crunchy pecan-and-brown-sugar streusel to add some crunch.
Game plan: Though the streusel is crunchiest when freshly made, this casserole can be completely made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat uncovered in a 350°F oven until heated through, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- 1Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until very soft to the touch, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
For the streusel topping:
- 1Whisk the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut it into the flour mixture until the butter’s in pea-size pieces or smaller, about 5 minutes. Add the pecans and toss with your fingers to combine.
- 2Squeeze clumps of the mixture between your fingers to form irregularly shaped pieces about the size of kidney beans. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- 1When the sweet potatoes are done roasting, place the baking sheet on a wire rack and set it aside until the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the bourbon, measured butter, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture has started to bubble, about 5 minutes; set aside.
- 2Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter and set it aside.
- 3When the sweet potatoes are cooled, cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape the flesh out with a spoon and transfer it to a large bowl; discard the skins. Using a potato masher, mash the flesh until it’s almost smooth but some chunks remain. Add the bourbon mixture and the milk and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- 4Evenly sprinkle the streusel topping over the sweet potatoes. Bake until the streusel is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let it sit 10 minutes before serving.