Sunday, November 20, 2011
1 1/2 to 2 lbs yams or sweet potatoes
2 apples (Gala or Fuji)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
3 teaspoons corn starch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and thinly slice yams. Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Place 1/4 of the yams in the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the apples. Repeat for a total of 5 layers, beginning and ending with yams. In a small bowl combine orange juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger and corn starch. Pour over yams and dot the top with the remaining butter. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hour. Serves 6 to 8 adults.
Hints: True yams are nearly impossible to find. Dark orange sweet potatoes are sometimes labeled yams in the produce section of our local stores. Use what you can find. Tart apples like Rome or Granny Smith are not the best in this recipe but may work if you add a bit more sugar. Red delicious end up too sweet. Honeycrisp or Jonagold are also good choices. I like to use fresh OJ and a little orange zest is a good addition to the recipe. The ginger flavor is very subtle and you could easily use 50% more (1 1/2 teaspoons) without ruining the end product. This dish reheats well in the microwave and the flavors seem to meld well after a day. I use an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven with a tight lid to cook these but they can be done in a ceramic or glass dish with a foil cover. Check the cook time to make sure they don't scorch.
Neal says he likes yams cooked this way because they are not so "YYYYYYamy". I like them because they are not too sweet. They taste fresher and less starchy than some other sweet potato dishes. They are great as a side dish for poultry or pork. The color is wonderful and so is the aroma.