Leave it to the English teacher to research the origin of candied yams, and I am so glad I did. While I knew that African American farmer George Washington Carver was a great inventor, I had no idea that it was he who came up more than 30 ways to enjoy the sweet potato– linked just to inform you. While I am not well-acquainted with the varied uses of the sweet potato, I do know a thing or two about candied yams.
To give you just a little context, I have always loved sweet potatoes: baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato pie, sweet potato fries, and candied yams. But is was the yams that I loved most of all. As a child, I hated that we only really got to enjoy them so few times a year, mainly Easter and Thanksgiving. For this reason, I set out to make it my business to learn how to make candied yams so that I could cook and enjoy them whenever I wanted.
I can’t exactly remember when I perfected my candied yams, but I did, and what you will see here is what I have learned over the years, taking the best parts from one recipe or another and adding them all together to make what I like to call “Tam’s Yams“. I hope that you will give them a try and let me know how they turned out for you!
First peel, clean and thinly slice your sweet potatoes, and place them in a baking dish large enough to hold them. I use a Pyrex dish. Then on low heat and in a medium pot, melt the butter, then add the white sugar, water, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, until you have a nice smooth sweet glaze. Once the the mixture is completely melted, pour it all over the sliced potatoes, and then add the orange juice, (I use pulp free), and stir. Sprinkle a little cinnamon over the potatoes and cover with aluminum foil. Bake the potatoes on 375 for for 40-45 minutes until they are soft but not mushy. I like for them to hold their shape and not cook to pieces.
I won’t lie, Tam’s Yams are sweet, and for this reason, they could very well be classified as a dessert, but nevertheless, they are one of my favorite Southern side dishes. Not only are they delicious, but they are simple to prepare, and they have never let me down. I have no doubt that this recipe will become a family favorite for you and your babes too. 😉
Below is a link to my favorite kitchen items all reasonably priced and “Tam approved“! Some affiliate links are present, and I may receive a small commission, but I only share these items because I love using them.