This Thanksgiving side dish is a favorite in the American south, where some writers credit its creation to African slaves who were trying to make sweet potatoes taste more like the nyami (yams) they remembered from West Africa.

4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick rounds

½ cup salted butter

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


1.  Preheat the oven to 350*.  Layer sweet potato slices in a lightly greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

2.  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add sugars, stirring until well combined.  Stir in cream; cook, stirring often, just until mixture comes to a simmer, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

3.  Pour sugar mixture evenly over sweet potatoes and cover with lightly greased aluminum foil.

4.  Bake, covered, in preheated oven for about 40 minutes.  Uncover and gently stir potato mixture.  Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes more.  Transfer potatoes to a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.  Pour syrup over potatoes and serve immediately.

NOTE:  Assemble up to 3 days in advance.  Complete the recipe through step 3, store it covered in the refrigerator, and then bake it on serving day.

from Pam Lolley, Southern Living Magazine, October, 2017

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