I’d been meaning to make this sweet potato crisp for a while, but never got around to it. Then I decided that it would make a good side (colorful vegetable!) to a chicken dish we were having, plus, the Little Prince would definitely like it if I omitted the alcohol (which I did, obviously). As I was reading the ingredients, I realized that it called for a bit of cream, which I can get lactose-free here, so that sealed the deal! (I don’t think the cream is essential, though, so you could use lactose-free milk instead or omit it entirely.) I halved the recipe, since I had no army to feed, used vegan margarine instead of butter, and made it in an 8”x8” dish. It was lovely! I really enjoyed the contrast of the crunchy top and creamy insides, along with the sweet and salty in this dish. The Engineer first said that he liked it, then upgraded his statement to say that he loved it! Note that if you wanted a thicker, more substantial crust, you could double the amounts of topping ingredients and still use the same dish.
For the potatoes
2.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½” cubes
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature (or vegan margarine)
¼ cup lactose-free cream
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
salt (to taste)
For the crisp topping
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 Tbsp. chopped walnuts (pecans would be good, too)
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter or vegan margarine, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
First, start the sweet potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot, and add cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, return to the pot, and mash with the remaining potato ingredients. Purée in batches in a food processor until very smooth, and transfer to a 9”-square (or similar) baking pan. (I simply mashed the potatoes and didn’t use any blade action at all, so don’t worry if you don’t feel like taking out your food processor for this.)
While the potatoes cook, mix the topping ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Scatter the topping over the potatoes and bake for about 30 minutes, until the topping has browned. Serve warm.
Note: Both the sweet potatoes and the crisp topping can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. To serve, bake the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, add the topping, and bake another 40 minutes.