Candied Yams

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Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen
Recipe from Southern Living

We updated the Southern staple candied yams recipe so that it can be cooked in a slow cooker. It's an extra-easy choice to heat and take to your next family gathering or potluck dinner.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preparation

Cook Time:
Prep Time:

  1. 1. Microwave butter in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 30 seconds to 1 minute or until melted; stir in vanilla and salt.
  2. 2. Stir together granulated sugar and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. 3. Layer potatoes and sugar mixture in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker, beginning with potatoes and ending with sugar mixture. Pour butter mixture over top. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours or until potatoes are tender.
  4. 4. Transfer potatoes to a serving dish using a slotted spoon, reserving liquid in slow cooker. Keep potatoes warm.
  5. 5. Remove 1/3 cup liquid from slow cooker; whisk cornstarch into 1/3 cup liquid until smooth. Carefully pour remaining liquid from slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over potatoes. Serve immediately.

Notes

The recipe name "candied yams" is a bit of a misnomer. Orange sweet potatoes are often  labeled as yams, but in truth, yams are in an entirely different family of root vegetables.  A  true yam is starchier than a sweet potato, but also sweet. Yams  come from Africa and the Caribbean, and must be cooked in order to be safe to consume. Cooking a yam is laborious: it can be difficult to peel the thick skin, and it must be pounded and boiled.

 

Ruby Campbell, Sanford, North Carolina,
October 2008