My grandmother would make this dish for Thanksgiving. She passed away a few years ago, but my family continues to make it for Thanksgiving.
My grandmother would arrange the yams and apples to make a beautiful presentation. She was a wonderful women who loved beautiful things.
She always set the table regardless if there were many or few people eating. She would have fresh flowers in her home and table from her garden. This dish brings back many fond memories of her. There are a few dishes I associate with my grandmother, and these yams and apples are on the top of the list.
I actually used sweet potatoes for this recipe instead of yams. Yams and sweet potatoes are both flowering plants, but they are not biologically related. Most yams are grown in Africa. They are starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.
In the United States, a firmer sweet potato was available before the familiar, softer version. African slaves started called the softer version yams after African yams. Everyone adopted this nomenclature to distinguish between the firmer and softer varieties of sweet potatoes. To add to the confusion, there is another plant in Polynesia that is called a yam, but is unrelated to the African yam and sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are native to the tropical regions of America. Sweet potatoes in Central America were domesticated around 5,000 years ago. Remains of Peruvian sweet potatoes have been unearthed dating back to 8,000 BC.
The ingredients for this recipe are 6 yams, 6 apples, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup butter, and 4 tablespoons corn starch. I only make half this amount. I chose large apples and yams. I would choose smaller apples and yams to make the casserole sweeter and more saucy.
I boiled the sweet potatoes for 40 minutes. To prepare the sauce, I combined the water, butter, corn starch, and salt in a sauce pan. I brought the ingredients to a boil. I stirred and continued to cooke the sauce until it was thick. I set it aside and let it cool.
I removed the peal and sliced the sweet potatoes. I also pealed and sliced the apples.
I layered the sweet potatoes and apples into a baking dish one after another until all the apples and sweet potatoes were used. I created two layers of each ingredient.
I poured the sauce over the dish and let it run into the nooks and crannies
I baked the casserole for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. I let it cool and set a little before digging in.
The apples and sweet potatoes soften and sweeten in the oven. The sauce is buttery and sweet.
This dish is one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. My version wasn't as pretty as my grandmothers but it was scrumptious.
As I mentioned earlier, I would use smaller apples and sweet potatoes. Mine were huge. One of the best parts of this dish is the sugary syrup. I prefer more sauce to filling.
I really enjoy this dish. It's tempting, fragrant, and delectable. It would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.