Sweet Potato & Apple Casserole w/ Pecan Crunch Topping
either all granny smith or mixed with golden or other cooking apples OR may substitute with 1-2 large cans apple pie filling
cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
pumpkin pie spice
freshly grated nutmeg
crushed ginger snaps
To prepare fresh sweet potatoes, wash and bake in foil at 375F until soft (about 50 minutes. Let them cool.
While yams are cooling, peel and slice the apples and heat a bit of butter in a shallow pan.
Cook apples over low to medium heat till they begin to soften. Add sugar and spice mix; continue to cook for several minutes to caramelize a bit.
While the apples cook, prepare topping; Blend sugar, spices and flour in medium bowl.
Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in cold butter. (Do not over mix butter. Just blend until mixture begins to resemble dry oatmeal.) Add in ginger snaps if using.
Peel and slice sweet potatoes into medium thick slices. Place about half in one layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish or a large, deep 2 1/2 quart casserole.
Next layer apples. Top with the other half of the sweet potato.
Sprinkle topping over the yams. (If the topping looks very dry, you may dot a little butter here and there before baking.)
Place whole pecans on half or whole casserole.
Bake at 375F uncovered, until casserole is bubbly and topping is crisp (about 35 minutes). Serve as soon as possible.
To make ahead, you can prep sweet potatoes and apples. Layer them in a pan and cover with foil. Refrigerate. Topping can be made an hour or so before and sprinkled over before baking.