My mom only made these once a year at Thanksgiving. We had baked Russet potatoes and other potatoes throughout the year, but these were strictly for Thanksgiving. As much as I love these and could eat them all year, it’s nice to have something you only make once a year for a special holiday.
They are super simple and perfect. I thought about tweaking this recipe with cardamom or cinnamon or other spices, but I stuck with the original.
Yams, high quality maple syrup and sweet butter. That’s all there is to it.
Even if you grew up with marshmallow covered yam souffles, try these. Believe me, you will become a convert. They retain their yumminess and are caramelized and candied by the maple syrup. The only trick to the recipe is to keep an eye on them once you uncover the pan. Maple syrup can burn. You want candied, caramelized flavor, not burnt sugar.
Even as I write this, I’m looking forward to next Thanksgiving where they will reappear on my table.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that they can be prepared the day before and baked just before serving.
MINERVA’S CANDIED YAMS
SERVES: 6-8 People
3 medium-to-large yams
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4-1 cup good quality maple syrup
1. Wash the yams and place them in a saucepan with water, almost covering the potatoes, and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until a fork goes into the potato with ease. But do not overcook: You don’t want the yams falling apart.
3. When the potatoes are done, drain in a colander and run under cold water. The skin should easily slip off.
4. Slice the peeled potatoes in thirds lengthwise and place in a baking pan. Dot with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.
5. Yams can be prepared up to this point covered with foil and refrigerated until ready to bake.
6. If you refrigerated them, bring them to room temperature before baking.
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
8. Bake covered approximately 30 minutes until heated through, basting yams 1-2 times.
9. Place under boiler for 10-15 minutes to caramelize.
10. Remove pan and carefully transfer yams to serving dish. Drizzle with any syrup in the pan and enjoy.