Carrot Soufflé with Breadcrumb Pecan Topping

1½ lbs. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (can substitute sweet potato)

¼ cup light brown sugar, packed

4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter

3 eggs

¼ cup half and half or milk

1/3 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

¼ cup flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

Topping

½ cup breadcrumbs (Panko)

½ cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the carrots in a large saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric beater (or a food processor), mash the carrots well, adding one at a time, the sugar, butter, eggs, half and half and lastly the orange juice and zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and add them to the carrots. Mix well.

Butter a deep-dish casserole dish (8×8 square or an 8” round soufflé) and transfer the sweet potato mixture to the dish. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, pecans and sugar; mix well. Add the butter, mixing with your hands until it is well incorporated. Scatter the mixture over the top of the souffle. Bake until the topping is lightly browned, 45-50 minutes. Serves 4-6.

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