Every Southern Thanksgiving table needs at least one sweet potato dish, and even though Mama cooks the same classic sweet potato casserole every year, you should add these candied yams to your lineup. Flavored with fresh orange zest and aromatic rosemary, these potatoes have a perfect texture; they do not fall apart or become too mushy. This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller crowd and baked in an 8x8-inch dish. You can assemble the dish up to 3 days in advance. Make the recipe through step 2, store it covered in the refrigerator, then bake it Thanksgiving Day. We recommend serving them straight from the oven while the syrup is still hot.
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in.-thick rounds
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon orange zest, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Small fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°F. Layer sweet potato slices in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Add sugars, stirring until well combined. Stir in cream, and cook, stirring often, just until mixture comes to a simmer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in orange zest, rosemary, and salt.
Pour sugar mixture evenly over potatoes, and cover with lightly greased aluminum foil.
Bake, covered, in preheated oven, about 40 minutes. Uncover and gently stir potato mixture to ensure even cooking. Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 more minutes. Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon, and pour syrup over potatoes. Top with additional orange zest and rosemary sprigs. Serve immediately.
Prepare recipe through Step 2. Lightly coat potatoes with cooking spray, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer syrup to an airtight container, and refrigerate syrup and potatoes separately. You can make only the syrup ahead, and cut the potatoes the day you cook them to ensure that they don’t oxidize. Combine syrup and potatoes in a 13-x 9-inch baking dish on the day off. Proceed with recipe as directed.