Luziana Yams L'Orange
6 medium Louisiana yams 1 stick unsalted butter 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed firm) 2 Tbsp. grated orange zest 1/4 tsp. salt 2 tsp. apple pie spice 1 heaping tsp. salt 3 large Granny Smith apples 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate 1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
First, wash the potatoes thoroughly under cold running water. Then place them into a large stockpot with just enough water to cover them, add the teaspoon of salt, and bring the water to a rapid boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and poach the potatoes for about 30 minutes or until they are fork tender.
When the yams are cooked, pour off the boiling water, remove the potatoes from the pot, and let them cool to room temperature. Oh, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees, too!
Meanwhile, take a 12-inch heavy aluminum skillet and melt the butter over medium high heat. At the same time, peel, core, and cut the Granny Smith apples - crosswise - into ? inch slices.
Then when the butter is hot and bubbly, stir in the brown sugar, the orange juice, the orange zest, the liqueur, the cinnamon, and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the alcohol evaporates. By the way, you should continue to stir the mixture occasionally to get uniformity, and you want to cook the mixture over low heat for about 8-10 minutes until it thickens to a syrup.
While the glaze is cooking, peel the potatoes with a small paring knife. Then cut them crosswise into slices about ? thick.
At this point, take the apple slices and place them into the orange sauce. Then simmer them - uncovered - for about 5 minutes or so until they are tender. You want to be gentle when you turn them, though, because you don't want them to break. When they are ready, take a slotted spoon, remove them from the sauce, and set them aside for the moment.
Now take a shallow 2-quart Pyrex or Corning Ware baking dish and alternately layer the sweet potato and apple slices on an angle, so that they set upright in the dish (similar to poker chips). Then evenly spoon half of the orange sauce over the tops of the yams and apples, cover the casserole dish with heavy aluminum foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
While the dish is in the oven, reheat the remaining sauce to a slow bubble and whisk in the apple pie spice. Then when the casserole is done, remove the foil and evenly baste the potatoes and apples with the rest of the sauce.
All that's left is to put the dish back into the oven--this time uncovered!- and bake for another 20 minutes or so, or until the potatoes and apples are crusted with a shiny, sugary glaze.
This is probably the dish the Pilgrims liked best!
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