[personal profile] anarae
Originally called Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, this recipe can use both interchangeably. They are not, however, interchangeable. I know most of us grew up calling sweet potatoes yams, but they are, in fact, two separate things. I used actual yams for this recipe, not sweet potatoes, so my experience comes from using those. I'm uncertain how the dish would come out using sweet potatoes, but I daresay it'll come out just fine.

For those who adore and wish to emulate the seasonal marshmallow yams our mothers or grandmothers used to make, but who have neither the time nor the inclination to attempt replicating gourmet prep or an 86-step baking process, or if you're just a beginner in the kitchen like me and want something underwhelming but wonderful, this is the recipe for you. The ginger and nutmeg really help to give the dish a subtle flavor that sets it apart from the yam dishes I've eaten in the past. I'm no good at describing like a professional reviewer how things should taste, but all I can say was that I added a rather generous pinch of ginger and I could definitely taste it on the back of my tongue while the nutmeg registered more at the tip. They flourished more in the aftertaste, once the sweetness of the glaze itself had eased off a bit, both a part of it and yet separate in their own way. I would think, depending on what you are seeking, you could probably add a bit more ginger or a bit less depending on your preference. I'd not skimp on the nutmeg though; it really adds a seasonal flavor, and both together were simply divine.

Yield: Serves 8, unless you horde the dish, then might serve only 4. :D

Ingredients:


Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Arrange the potatoes / yams in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

  • Combine the sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat.

  • Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. (Be careful not to overheat or over-stir.)

  • Pour the mixture over the potatoes / yams and toss to coat. (Be careful; hot sugar can burn quite badly if you get your hands in the way.)

  • Cover the dish tightly with foil.

  • Bake the potatoes / yams for around 50 minutes.

  • Uncover and bake until the potatoes / yams are tender and the syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.

  • Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Top the potatoes / yams with the marshmallows and nuts.

  • Return the dish to the oven and bake until the marshmallows begin to melt and the nuts begin to brown, about 3 minutes.


Notes: I would heat the baking dish a bit before pouring the glaze mixture over the potatoes within, or the sugar will crystalize upon contact with the cold glass, causing you to need to stir the potatoes in the dish over a heated hob in order to salvage the glaze.

Be careful not to over-stir the sugar mixture or, I was told, the sugar will just clump and begin sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

I did not use nuts in this recipe and it came out perfect. Nuts are totally optional in my opinion. I like them in bread (real bread, not muffin loaves) and precious little else.

I didn't add an Amazon link for the almonds because even I would never substitute a trip to the store to pay what they're asking for on that site. Forget it. Snowed in or not, I'd just live without them. I also don't think the mentioned sweet potatoes are red-skinned, but they're just meant as substitutes I think I'd probably use if I was in an absolute bind, not mandatory brands or products that have to be used in order for the recipe to come out right.

Anyway, this was a spectacular treat. I always loved my adoptive mother's candied yams, and I wanted to make some for my first real Thanksgiving with my girl toddler as well as the first Thanksgiving in Maryland. I did not, however, want to call to get the recipe, for reasons. If you follow the instructions above, you'll have a beautifully made dish all your own. Hey, if I could do it, the woman who manages to ruin everything in the kitchen, so can you. Give it a try! I know you'll not regret it.
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Anastasia Rae

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