Okay, I realize that Thanksgiving is over. If your refrigerator looks anything like mine–overflowing with leftovers–you may not exactly be clamoring to read about yet another Thanksgiving dish. I understand, believe me. Besides the traditional Thanksgiving menu I prepared, the rest of my family also brought enough food to feed another army.
But I hope you don’t mind my sharing with you one more dish. I’ve been making this yam and apple casserole for almost 10 years. And while I will sometimes experiment with my turkey seasoning, desserts and other side dishes, the yams are prepared the same way each year per my husband’s request.
The yams and Granny Smith apples are showcased well in this recipe. Baking brings out their natural sweetness while the overall flavor of the casserole is made brighter by the citrusy sauce. Over the years I’ve taken to adding a bit of cinnamon and allspice to the mix to make it even better (nutmeg and cloves might work well, too).
I’m posting this now partly to share with you another option for next Thanksgiving but also because each year I fear losing this sheet of paper in my overflowing recipe binder. You have one of those, right?
- 3-4 regular size yams or two large ones (cooked, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices)
- 4 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced into 16 wedges each)
- 1¾ cups boiling water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- a few dashes allspice
- a few dashes cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Layer the yam slices and apple wedges in a large casserole dish.
- Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a saucepan. Add the boiling water a little at a time and use a whisk to prevent lumps in the corn starch. Add the butter, lemon juice and orange juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened and transparent, stirring frequently. This will take just a few minutes. You an also add a dash or two each of cinnamon and allspice before turning off the heat. Taste the sauce. Feel free to add a little more orange or lemon juice if you want a stronger citrus flavor. I usually do.
- Pour the sauce over the yams and apples. I like to sprinkle a bit more cinnamon and allspice right before baking.
- Bake for one hour. The original recipe does not specify whether this should be baked covered or uncovered. I've taken to baking uncovered for the first twenty minutes, covered for the next 20 and uncovered again for the last 20. I'm sure this is not necessary but it works for me. Enjoy!
2. Feel free to use the yam/apple proportion that you would prefer. This is a nice balance for us but if you'd like less apple, use one less than called for in the recipe.
3. A reader said that pre-cooking the yams was unnecessary but I haven't tested this method yet.
4. To prevent corn starch lumps in the glaze, whisk the mixture as you add the water to the saucepan. I add a little water at a time, whisk vigorously and never have lumps.