This recipe is adapted from Majories Mills' book Cooking on a Ration: Food is Still Fun, published in 1943 when many common ingredients, including sugar, oranges and butter, were rationed.
5 lbs. orange sweet potatoes (yams)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 large orange, zested and juiced (about 1 tsp. of zest and 1/4 cup juice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cold butter
2 Tbsp. flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap the potatoes in foil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 60-90 minutes or until soft. Baking time will depend on the size of the potatoes.
Remove from oven, unwrap carefully, and allow to cool.
Note: This step can be prepared in advance; you may keep the cooked potatoes in their skins in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours prior to assembling the casserole in order to cut down on prep time.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Peel the potatoes. Place them in a large mixing bowl and mash them with a potato masher until smooth.
Add the maple syrup, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper to the bowl. Use the potato masher to mix the ingredients into the potatoes, mashing and stirring until all ingredients are well combined.
Taste mixture; add additional salt or pepper to taste, if desired.
Spread the mixture into a lightly greased 9-by-13 baking dish.
In a food processor, combine chopped nuts, brown sugar, butter and flour. Pulse ingredients for about 60 seconds until they resemblecoarse crumbles. Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly across the top of the casserole.
Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes until the top is browned and crisp. Serve warm.
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Tori Avey is the Shiksa in the Kitchen. Her blog is The History Kitchen, exploring the history of food.