Yam-Apricot Casserole


- An 8 oz. package of dried apricots
- Two 16 oz. cans whole yams or sweet potatoes, drained  (although we use 4 cups of chopped up fresh, peeled yams)
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed to measure
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons fresh-grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- If using fresh yams: about 1 large yam or 2 medium yams will work.  Peel them.  Chop them into small pieces (exact size and shape doesn't matter).  Measure about 4 cups worth.  Microwave them for approx. 8 minutes, until they are tender.
- In a one and a half quart saucepan, simmer apricots in 2 cups water for 10 minutes or until soft.  Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
- Arrange yams in a single layer in a shallow baking dish (9 x 13 is good).  Top with apricots and pecans.
- Put reserved cooking liquid and remaining ingredients in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan (can use the same one used to cook the apricots) and stir over moderately high heat until boiling.  Simmer 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened.  Pour over yams, apricots, and pecans.
- Put into preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and pecans are browned.
Note: The measurements of the apricots, pecans, and yams don't have to be exact.  You can adjust to taste.  Lately we have been using 2 cups of apricots (a little over half of a 16 oz package) and 1 1/2 cups of pecans.  We also tend to not measure the 4 cups of chopped yams any more; we just pick up two medium sized yams and use them both.  Also, the recipe says that it serves 10; however, I findthe number of people it serves is really variable depending on how much each person takes.