I worked on this dish for years, in myriad incarnations, until I arrived at this. It has become my signature holiday dish among friends and family, and was featured in the Food Section of The Oregonian newspaper a few Thanksgivings ago.
Heat oven to 400°F.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) butter
- 3/4 cup Steen's Cane Syrup (preferred),
Lyle's Golden Syrup or any type of sugar cane syrup.
- 1/2 cup pear nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Bourbon whiskey
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/3" slices
- 4 large crisp Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/4" slices
Butter a 13x9x2" glass baking dish. (For a nice presentation, use a decorative ceramic dish like I do.)
Stir butter, cane syrup, pear nectar, vanilla, Bourbon and orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Increase heat and boil until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Arrange 1/3 of the sweet potato slices in the buttered dish. Top with half of the pear slices, then 1/3 of the sweet potato slices. Arrange the remaining slices of sweet potato and pear on top, alternating sweet potato and pear slices, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle lightly with salt, then pour the cane syrup mixture over. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake until the sweet potatoes are nearly tender, about an hour. Uncover and bake until sweet potatoes are completely tender, basting occasionally with the syrup, for about 20-30 minutes longer; check with a toothpick or knife point to make sure the sweet potatoes are completely tender. (This can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat covered in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes; spoon the syrup over the sweet potatoes and pears and serve hot.)
Yield: 8 - 10 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (courtesy of The Oregonian Food Section)
Calories: 279 (2% from protein, 68% from carbohydrate, 30% from fat)
Protein: 1.4 grams
Total fat: 9.7 grams
Saturated fat: 5.8 grams
Cholesterol: 46.2 mg
Sodium: 208 mg
Carbohydrate: 46.2 grams
Fiber: 4.4 grams
Exchanges: 1 fruit, 2 starch, 2 fat
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)