6 medium (2 1/2 pounds) sweet potatoes*
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tart apples peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Brown Sugar Syrup (see recipe below)
* Sweet Potato vs. Yams: In the United States, most people use both terminologies to refer to a sweet potato. What is marketed in the United States as “yams” are really a variety of sweet potato, grown in the South. A true yam is a starchy edible root of the Dioscorea genus, and is generally imported to America from the Caribbean. Yams contain more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content. Both the sweet potato and the yam are available fresh from October through March.
** Learn how to make homemade Marshmallows.
Purchasing Sweet Potatoes: Select firm, fairly evenly-shaped sweet potatoes with even skin coloration. Do not purchase if they have white areas or are damaged; this probably means decay. Avoid sweet potatoes with any signs of decay. For the most nutrition value, always select sweet potatoes with a deep orange color. Sweet potatoes store well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.
Scrub the sweet potatoes and put them in a saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover pan and boil gently for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife (do not overcook). Remove from heat, drain, and let cool slightly. Peel and slice the cooled sweet potatoes approximately 1/2-inch thick.
While sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the Brown Sugar Syrup.
Place a layer of sweet potato slices into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a layer of sliced apples over the top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Make another layer each of sweet potatoes and apples. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar over each layer. Pour the prepared Brown Sugar Syrup over the top of the sweet potatoes and apple mixture.
NOTE: Grandma Gertie's Sweet Potatoes may be frozen at this point. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and then cover with aluminum foil. Freeze until needed. To use, thaw casserole on the counter for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Remove aluminum foil and plastic wrap, and recover with the aluminum foil.
Bake, uncovered, approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until apples are soft. During the last 5 minutes of cook, place whole marshmallows onto the top of each slice and let brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings.
Brown Sugar Syrup:
1 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup water
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine brown sugar and water; stir until sugar is dissolves.