This week’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is gluten-free. I couldn’t find xanthan gum anywhere so I decided to make a sweet potato casserole, which, aside from the flour in the topping, is already gluten-free. Then I looked for sorghum flour and/or vegan marshmallows to make a gluten-free crumble topping or to just top with marshmallows but failed at finding those things as well. I couldn’t live without the brown sugar and nut (and white flour) topping, so my baked good this week is technically not gluten-free. However, if you live somewhere with well-stocked natural food stores or are not concerned about gelatiny marshmallows, you could easily follow the recipe I used and not consume even a teeny, tiny drop of gluten.
It seems every vegan south of the Mason-Dixon line has blogged a version of this sweet potato casserole and mine isn’t much different so I won’t bother writing it out here. I followed this one from Oh She Glows pretty closely but was originally intending to use sorghum flour as suggested on Gluten-Free Dreaming. Oh She Glows adapted her recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen so I think she deserves a mention here too.
Here’s the base before adding the topping. I made a couple of changes to this part. I used just 3 tablespoons of maple syrup as suggested by Oh She Glows. I accidentally put the 1/4 cup margarine intended for the topping into the sweet potato mixture so it has 2 tablespoons of extra margarine, oops. I honestly can’t tell so no big deal. Next time I’ll use less nutmeg. I think it overpowers the other flavors a bit. I think I will also use more maple syrup, maybe 4 tablespoons. I was trying to be good and cut down the sugar but this is a family gathering type of dish so no reasonable person is going to sit down and eat the whole thing anyway.
The only change I made for the topping was cashew halves instead of the optional pecans.
After sprinkling on the topping, it hung out in the oven for 50 minutes.
I didn’t have the highest hopes for this but I was totally impressed with it. It’s great. The topping really makes this dish. The marshmallow people don’t know what they’re missing.
This recipe is a good deal healthier (A LOT less sugar and fat) than the one I grew up eating and, while I will admit it’s not quite as good, it also just tastes different. With the vegan ingredients and drastic reduction in sugar, they’re so different that it almost doesn’t make sense to compare them. I’m still looking forward to eating a (moderately-sized) piece of Mom’s deliciously sweet and creamy sweet potato casserole this Thanksgiving. If you don’t eat eggs or evaporated milk though (or are lacking a Southern matriarch), this recipe is the next best thing.