Okay, I know you’re thinking, “this is NOT healthy, Maureen. What are you doing?” It was my birthday and I firmly believe you should eat whatever you want to on your birthday as long as you do it in moderation. I made these potatoes for a party we had last year but there was so much food and I was so busy that I only got one bite and then the dish was empty.
As I lounged around all those months trying to feel better I thought about those potatoes and how good they looked and how much everyone liked them. We had dinner with friends tonight but I brought the potatoes.
I even made a very tiny casserole all for myself. It doesn’t hold much but every bite will be delicious. This over the top decadent dish is really easy to make and you’ll feel spoiled with every forkful. Okay I’ll admit it, I plan to eat it with a spoon so I get all the topping.
You can even start this dish several hours ahead of time by making the topping and precooking the potatoes. Then just before your meal, put them together and toss in the oven for 50 minutes.
I peeled and sliced the yams into 3/4 inch slices and boiled them in salted water for only 5 minutes. You don’t want the potatoes to turn to mush before you get them in the casserole dish.
Once the yams are parboiled, layer them in a buttered casserole dish by overlapping in vertical rows. That’s the directions on the recipe I used from recipelink.com. I didn’t follow all their directions because I put the potatoes in the dishes the best way that they fit. Some of my yams were fat and some were really long and thinnish.
Heat the cream and while it’s heating, place the precooked potatoes in the buttered baking dish.
As you can see, they aren’t very attractive at this point but wait just a few minutes and you’ll see that it won’t matter one bit.
Once the cream is hot, pour it over the yams til it just covers the top of the potatoes. This dish didn’t call for any salt or pepper and I didn’t put any. I did worry about that but the dish was just fine.
Put the cream covered potatoes into a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 375F. While the potatoes are cooking, do the good part. Make the praline topping. I don’t know how you pronounce it but when I had this the first time I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee and it was called “pray leen” and that’s how I’ve said it ever since.
Place the topping ingredients in a bowl and work the butter into the brown sugar, flour and pecans with your fingers until well combined. Feel free to increase the quantities of the topping because, well… it’s the best bit. The potatoes are there only to hold up the cream and the topping. I’m pretty sure I’m right.
So once you have your potatoes swimming in hot cream remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the praline mixture across the top of the potatoes and cream. It should look like this. See what I meant about it not mattering how you layered the potatoes? You can’t see them under all that goodness!
Put the dish back in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t do what I did and put 1 quart in a half quart dish. The cream will bubble over and you’ll have to clean the oven. However, it will be worth it because then the dish will look like the photo at the top of the page.
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter - room temperature
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- ⅓ cup pecans chopped
- 6 yams peeled and cut into ½ to ¾ inch slices
- 1½ cups cream
- Butter for greasing casserole
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Cover and set aside.
- Place brown sugar, butter, flour and pecans in a small bowl. Work the butter into the the mixture using your fingers til well combined.
- Heat cream to near boiling.
- Butter casserole dish and layer yams any way that makes you happy. It really doesn't matter. If you're using a large casserole dish, feel free to overlap the slices.
- Pour hot cream over yams til it just covers the top slices.
- Place casserole in oven for 20 minutes.
- Take casserole out of oven and sprinkle the praline topping over the potatoes and cream and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
- Serve hot.