Recipes Dinners Side Dishes Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Maple-Glazed Yams with Pecan Topping

Sliced, baked sweet potato yam recipe, with maple syrup, brown sugar, and pecans.

Maple Glazed Yams Pecan Topping
Elise Bauer

A typical holiday feast around here is a rather colorful affair. Lots of browns, yellows, reds, and greens.

And then there is orange. I can't remember a Thanksgiving without a vibrant dish of garnet yams (a.k.a. sweet potatoes).

Usually we just mash them up with some brown sugar and spices. But a few years ago, we tried out this recipe from Bon Appetit and loved it!

We've since adjusted the recipe a bit, removing the flour from the topping and replacing it with ground pecans for our gluten-intolerant family members.

Maple Glazed Yams Pecan Topping
Elise Bauer

I've also added a little orange zest to add a little balance to the sweetness of the dish. You could also add a dash of lemon juice for the same purpose.

Smothering yams this way, in brown sugar and maple syrup, almost turns this dish into a dessert—not for everyday perhaps, but just the thing for a holiday treat.

Maple-Glazed Yams with Pecan Topping

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Put the salted water onto boil while you prep the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of yams (red-fleshed sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (divided 2 Tbsp and 4 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, divided (3/4 cup and 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Cook yams in boiling water:

    Heat a large pot of salted water (add a tablespoon of salt for every two quarts of water) until boiling. Add the yam rounds. Cook the yams until the water starts to simmer again, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, then rinse in cold water.

  3. Layer yam rounds in baking dish, with butter, zest, maple syrup:

    Butter a baking dish. Arrange the yam rounds in the baking dish, overlapping the pieces, layering the yam rounds to fill up the dish.

    maple-glazed-yams-pecan-topping-method-1
    Elise Bauer

    Sprinkle each layer liberally with salt. Sprinkle the yam rounds with orange zest if using. Pour maple syrup over yams. Dot with 2 Tbsp of the butter.

  4. Bake 20 min:

    Cover with aluminum foil and bake until yams are almost tender, about 20 minutes.

  5. Make pecan topping:

    While the yams are baking put 3/4 cup pecans in a blender or spice grinder and grind into a coarse meal. Coarsely chop the other 3/4 cup of pecans.

    Mix the ground pecans and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, mix in the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in the chopped pecans.

    maple-glazed-yams-pecan-topping-method-2
    Elise Bauer
  6. Sprinkle topping over yams, bake 15 min more:

    Sprinkle the pecan mixture over the yams. Bake the yams, uncovered, until the topping browns, about 15 minutes.