How to make it

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes or yams well and place them in the oven. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes and remove. (You can also steam them, or cook in the microwave). When they are cool enough to handle, halve them and scoop out the insides into a large mixing bowl. Mash well. You should have about three cups.
  • Mix the softened butter into the mashed sweet potatoes or yams along with the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Pour the mixture into a baking pan or casserole dish.
  • Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and the chopped pecans. Pour this mixture over the yams. Bake until very hot and slightly bubbly.
  • Notes:
  • You can cut the sugar in the sweet potatoes by half and leave the butter out. That reduces the calories a little.
  • It will be dicey doing the caramel topping without a candy thermometer – but if you simmer the sugar and cream for 10 minutes or so at a rolling boil, then add the pecans and butter, I believe it will work.
  • Be careful with praline topping. If you don't stir it regularly it can begin to burn before reaching the soft ball stage.

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