Guys i have recently been on a roll, posting the plethora of orange-fleshed root vegetables disguised as dessert this fall and every fall for that matter! I can pretty much assure you that between the months of September through December Americans eat the most vegetables by a long shot! Even the pickiest of children and selective adults cant wait to inhale spoonfuls of these sweet veggies….this dish my friends is no exception! My sweet mother-in-law recently made this famous Picadilly Cafeteria favorite for the family and it was de….lish..us! There we were thinking we were eating another scrumptious sweet potato casserole and low and behold the truth came out….CARROTS (we all gasped)….HOW COULD IT BE CARROTS? Indeed it was and she did an amazing job hooking us for life! Her version was a classic rendition of this restaurant favorite yet ya’ll know me by now…i can never leave well enough alone so i added my own little touches and a few optional garnish ideas to take it over the top! Give my version a try folk’s and may your tummy and eyes be equally blessed by this twenty_four carrot jewel!
SERVINGS: 6 to 8
PREP TIME: 35 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 1 HOUR
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs peeled carrots cut into chunks or 2 (32 ou) bags of baby carrots
- 1 cup evaporated milk or half & half
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange or pineapple juice or lemon extract (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice or nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Dust with a little powdered sugar
- Top with mini marshmallows and bake another five to ten minutes or until melted.
- Hummingbird Crumb Topping- Pulse in your food processor until a nice crumb forms. Top your casserole with it prior to baking.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter a deep dish Pyrex, casserole dish or pie plate and set aside.
- My preferred method to prepare my carrots is to buy large bags of pre-washed and peeled baby carrots and just steam them for about 25 to 30 minutes or until fork tender. Alternatively you could just wash and peel large carrots, than cut them into chunks and place them in a large pot filled with water and a pinch of salt and boil them for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. *Its very important to be sure your carrots are neither to firm or to mushy after cooking, fork tender is just perfect.
- Once your carrots are prepped allow them to cool slightly before adding them to the food processor which makes this recipe a breeze. Once cooled, add your carrots, butter, milk, juice and eggs and process until it becomes a smooth puree. Now add in your extracts, spices, salt, sugar, baking powder and flour and give it a good whirl through the processor until well combined and smooth. You can also mash these by hand or with a mixer than add all the other ingredients and mix until its nice and smooth.
- Pour your smooth carrot puree into your greased dish and top with your crumb topping if desired than bake in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes up to an hour or until it has risen slightly and the center is firm. Enjoy warm out of the oven just like this which is comforting and delish or if you choose to top your plain casserole with a bit of powdered sugar or even broil some marshmallows on top that would make it extra special!
- Refrigerate any leftovers and it reheats very well. Enjoy!