The holidays are really something special. You get precious time with the ones you love and a plethora of treats to enjoy. It really makes for quite a lovely season. If you’re looking for a sweet way to make your dessert spread a tad bit fancier, you should add this Candied Yam Gratin to your menu. Doesn’t that sound so delightful? Well, it is! You’ll know it the second you slide your spoon into the tender, sweet, slightly seared yams that are soaking in the sweetest, creamiest brown-butter sauce. It takes a little bit of time to make, but the look on the faces of your loved ones around the table will be totally worth it! Make every moment count, and that much sweeter, with some Candied Yam Gratin!

Ingredients

For the yams:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, for greasing the baking dish
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more, to taste
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted and browned
  • 5 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • water, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste

For the candied pecans:

  • 1 egg white
  • 4 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the brown-butter almond milk:

  • 1 cup butter, melted and browned
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Maldon® sea salt flakes, to taste, for garnish

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Rub 2 tablespoons of the butter on the
bottom and up the sides of a deep baking dish, then place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom.

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Step 3 –In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, the nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of the salt and stir to combine.

Step 4 –In a saucepan over medium heat, add 4 cups of the almond milk, 1 1/2 cups of the browned butter, and the extra salt and cook until it is hot, about 3 minutes.

Step 5 –Layer 1/2 of the yam slices in an overlapping pattern in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 of the sugar mixture. Repeat the layers once with the remaining yam slices and the remaining sugar mixture.

Step 6 –Pour the hot milk mixture over the layered yams.

Step 7 –Put a piece of parchment on top of the baking dish and place an empty, equally-sized baking dish on top. Place a weight inside the top baking dish, such as a small cast-iron pan.

Step 8 –Place the baking dish inside a larger, deep-sided, oven-safe tray, and then add enough of the water to come halfway up the baking dish.

Step 9 –Bake the layered yams until they are tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Step 10 –Remove the weight and the additional dish, then transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let the layered yams cool. Turn the oven off.

Step 11 –Cover and place the baking dish in the refrigerator and let the layered yams chill for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

Step 12 –Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step 13 –Line a baking pan with a nonstick silicone baking mat or parchment paper coated with nonstick cooking spray.

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Step 14 –Transfer the layered yams to a cutting board and cut them into 3×1 1/2-inch slices.

Step 15 –Cover and return the sliced yams to the refrigerator.

Step 16 –In a large bowl, add the egg white and whisk until it is frothy.

Step 17 –Add the pecans to the beaten egg white and mix to combine.

Step 18 –Add the remaining granulated sugar, the remaining cinnamon, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt to the pecan mixture and stir to combine.

Step 19 –Spread the pecan mixture over the prepared baking pan and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until it is browned and crisp but not burnt, about 30 minutes.

Step 20 –Transfer the yam slices from the refrigerator.

Step 21 –Use the oil to coat a griddle and heat it on high.

Step 22 –Add the yam slices to the griddle, in batches, until they are browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Step 23 –While searing the yams, in a saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining 1 cup browned butter, the remaining almond milk, and the remaining salt and cook until it is hot, about 3 minutes.

Step 24 –Place 2 of the seared yam slices in each of the serving bowls and drizzle with the brown butter-almond milk.

Step 25 –Serve the gratins sprinkled with the candied pecans and the Maldon sea salt flakes.