If you could dive head first into a pool full of literally anything you wanted, what would you choose? Like you could jump into a pool filled with kittens and everything would be hunky dory. This question was posed to me by Abby, one of my new friends from culinary school. Best ice breaker question ever? Yeah. Personally, I would dive head first into a pool full of Diet Coke. Easy answer. It would be both refreshing and delicious. Abby? Abby would dive head first into a pool full of sweet potatoes. She loves sweet potatoes like I love Diet Coke. Lucky for her, her obsession isn’t slowly killing her. We teamed up last month in class when we were cooking family meal for the staff at school. That level was fun because we basically got to create whatever we wanted with the ingredients that were provided for us. Provided for us were a crap load of sweet potatoes, and one of the dishes that we came up with was something quite similar to this Sweet Potato and Pecan Gratin. This dish is simple, and it is absolutely delicious as a side dish on a cold night. Layers of sweet potatoes, parmesan cheese, and fresh thyme are topped with a buttery brown sugar and toasted pecan streusel.
Cheesy parmesan and sweet potato gratin topped with buttery cinnamon and brown sugar pecan streusel
1 hour 25 mins
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
2. Combine the heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, stir together the cheese and thyme in a small bowl.
3. Arrange one layer of sweet potatoes over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle some of the cheese over the top, then add some of the warm milk mixture. Continue the layering process four or five more times.
4. Stir together the pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture comes together. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the potatoes. Bake for about 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.