Skip to main content

Nana's Yams & Apples


Nana's enamel casserole dish
Nana’s Yams & Apples
*******
Nana brings this to dinner every Thanksgiving.  She’s 92 years old (2000). She always uses bright orange sweet potatoes, not yams, but I can't bring myself to change the name. I make it every Thanksgiving when we’re living away from home (and Nana) for the holidays. Sometimes I bake it the day before and reheat it the next day for Thanksgiving so that the flavors have had a chance to meld. 

It helps to buy yams that are all similar in size and width. I look for yams that are shaped like a cylinder (about 2-½  inches in diameter, rather than the ones in the shape of a huge football. 

[Update 2010: sweet Nana passed away when she was nearly ninety-nine. Guess which enamel casserole dish we use for yams and apples every year. Nana's.]

6 medium, narrow Garnet sweet potatoes, (about 3 lb total)
6 apples, peeled and sliced (half crisp & half baking apples)
1 C sugar
3 TBL cornstarch
2 tsp salt
2 C hot water
½ C butter (1 cube)
Juice of half lemon (2 TBL)
½ C marshmallows (optional)

  1. Fill a large pot halfway with water, cover and bring to the boil.  Add whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes to water, making sure they are covered by boiling water.  Bring back to the boil.  Boil for 35-40 minutes until very tender—insert point of a sharp knife to check for doneness.  Knife should not meet any resistance. 
  2. Drain and peel when cool enough to handle. (You can cook them up to half a day before making the sauce; just wait to peel them until you assemble the casserole).
  3. In medium saucepan add sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Stir to mix.  Add hot water and lemon juice.  Put saucepan over medium high heat.  Stirring constantly, bring to the boil.  Lower heat and stir for 1 more minute.  Turn off heat.  Add butter and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.
  4. Alternate layers of yams and apples in casserole dish. Pour sauce carefully over entire top, making sure the sauce covers every apple and yam slice on top. Do not overfill with sauce.
  5. Put a baking sheet in the oven on the lowest rack to catch any drips, just in case.
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes on middle rack of oven.  Can top with marshmallows during last 5 minutes of baking.
  7. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving. We like it baked the day before Thanksgiving, cooled, refrigerated, then reheated just before Thanksgiving dinner.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Easter Babies (Croatian Easter Bread Dolls)

Easter Babies
                                                    ******* Makes 12 Easter Babies
These Easter Babies (Croatian Easter bread dolls a.k.a.primorski uskrsne bebeare a new tradition in our family. The egg dying, dough mixing and braiding is so fun for children and grownups—it’s contagious. Traditionally, they are made with red-dyed eggs, but we use the colors we already have dyed. They make sweet gifts and they also look charming laying next to each Easter dinner plate. This lady uses naturally dyed eggs for her Easter babies.
If you're already making challa bread, use extra challa dough for these babies (simply make enough dough for 2 loaves, only bake one challa, and use the remaining dough for the Easter Babies).

How to Freeze Avocados to Use in Smoothies

How to Freeze Avocados to Use in Smoothies
We add an avocado to our daily smoothies, but it's nearly impossible to have a "just right" ripe avocado every day since they go bad quickly. Sometimes we only needed half an avocado. Here's a simple way: a smooth purée. For every avocado you need 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and it keeps its bright green color if you purée it rather than mash it like you would for guacamole. Each avocado = 3/4 cup purée (12 tablespoons). Sometimes I will make a big batch, like 18 avocados, so I need over 1 cup lemon juice for that quantity of purée (4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup). Now it's easy to have that daily avocado!

6 avocados, ripe
6 TBL lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
6 sandwich-sized zip-loc plastic bags 
1 ice-cream scoop that measures 1/4-cup servings
1 large tray
Wash avocados. Make a cut around each avocado starting at the stem end, and cut all the way around. Twist to separate. The pit will stay in one half. You can easily remove the pit …

Sweet Potato-Coconut Puree

Sweet Potato-Coconut Puree
Makes 6 Cups (scant)
This naturally sweet dish is perfect if you are craving something sweet and creamy. It's a delicious hot purée. Freshly grated nutmeg is key here. It's also delicious served cold or partially frozen 
for a treat, it's taste is reminiscent of pumpkin-pie ice cream if you double the spices (freezing subdues the spices, that's why you add more).

I've noticed that sweet potatoes can come nearly as large as footballs and as small as dinner-rolls.  It's hard to guess what size sweet potato to get for most recipes if no weight measurement is given. I once mistakenly chose enormous Russets for my first vichyssoise and I could have spackled a wall with it.  So for this recipe, I give some guidelines: choose large sweet potatoes, about 1 pound each, and it will be thick and creamy, like my first, ahem, "vichyssoise".