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Six to eight servings

3 medium-size yams

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter, divided

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons maple syrup

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3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cumin

8 teaspoon ground allspice

8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 ripe but firm pears

3 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted

1. Peel the yams and cut in halves. Place in a steamer basket set over boiling water; steam 15 minutes. Cool yams slightly. Cut in halves again and slice thinly.

2. Brush a casserole dish with a teaspoon of softened butter and set aside.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir into the maple syrup. Stir in the lemon juice, nutmeg, cumin, allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Peel the pears. Cut in quarters lengthwise and core. Then cut into thin slices. Combine in a bowl with the yams and the maple syrup mixture, mixing well. Transfer to the casserole dish.

5. Bake, covered, in a preheated 350-degree oven 30 minutes. Stir once during the baking time.

6. Uncover and stir the dish. Continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir in the pecans and dot with a teaspoon of butter.

7. Continue baking five minutes.

From The Seattle Times archives, 1997

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