This recipe comes from my wonderful aunt Cynthia, whom I absolutely adore and is the star cook of the Wiedemann family. The food she whips out of her kitchen is just incredible and made with so much care and love, you can almost taste it. I seriously still remember and crave her homemade yeast rolls from a Thanksgiving at her house in the 90’s!
This recipe is fun, unique, and easy and, on a personal note, also embodies what I love about food – that it is the ultimate unifier. You see, Cynthia and I have what most people would consider completely opposite political views. In fact, my father’s side of the family are scattered across the United States, literally from sea to shining sea. The roots of the family span from Texas to Manhattan and we represent all the political positions in between. But we all have been brought around a table together by Cynthia’s incredible food and her caring heart. In this day and age in the USA, opposing political views can be the defining characteristic of a relationship (or lack thereof). For me, Cynthia’s cooking, warmth, generosity, and hospitality consistently have reminded me that the stories I read and hear in my “media diet” never represent the full complexity of people, their positions, or their experiences. This Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving, I am grateful to have Cynthia in my family, not just because she is a wonderful person who I love and who feeds me delicious food, but because she reminds me never to accept anything at face value and inspires me to push myself to think harder and understand more.
Aunt Cynthia’s Sweet Potato Soufflé
2 CUPS COOKED & MASHED SWEET POTATOES
2 EGGS BEATEN
¼ CUP OF SUGAR (If you’re not really a sweet person, like me, you can leave this out).
¾ STICK OF BUTTER (FOR SOUFFLE) + ¾ OF BUTTER (FOR TOPPING), MELTED AND DIVIDED
1 CUP MILK
½teaspoon NUTMEG or ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon CINNAMON
¾ CUP CRUSHED CORN FLAKES
½ CUP BROWN SUGAR (again, if you’re not a sweet person, bring this down to ¼ cup)
½ CUP CHOPPED PECANS
- Mix the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, half of the melted butter, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon together.
- Pour into buttered ramekins or in a large casserole.
- Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes (I would check ramekins at about 15 minutes. They will cook faster because they are smaller. In either case, you want your soufflé to be slightly browned on the top and solid feeling to a light touch).
- Meanwhile, mix the corn flakes, brown sugar, nuts and remaining butter.
- Spoon the corn flake mixture evenly onto the sweet potato ramekins and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve with turkey, stuffing, etc as a side.