medium yams (3 to 5 pounds)
cup salted butter (1 stick)
cup granulated sugar
packed cup dark or light brown sugar
cup maple syrup
large orange, zested
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
teaspoon kosher salt
tablespoon vanilla extract (not imitation)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the yams, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the yams to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- In a medium pot over medium heat, cook the butter until it starts to bubble, about 2 minutes.
- Once the butter is melted, add both sugars along with the maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from burner. Stir to combine, then add the vanilla extract. Pour the sugar-butter mixture over the yams, and toss to coat.
- Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and using a spoon, baste the yams with the sugar-butter mixture collecting at the bottom of the baking dish. Cover again and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until tender. If desired, remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes to thicken the syrup. Remove the yams from the oven and serve hot.