Yams with Sugared Pecans

Time: 20 min prep + 40 minutes baking

Yield: 10 servings
Recipe from Pam Willahan, my lovely mother

3 C cooked mashed yams (about 4-5 small yams)
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C milk
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 C melted butter
1/3 C flour
1 t orange zest
2 T orange juice
dash salt

1 C chopped pecans
1 C brown sugar
4 T melted butter
dash salt

1. Peel your yams, chop them into cubes and boil them in water until soft. Yams cook faster than most white potatoes, like the Russet. Just watch your yams, you don't want them to get too soft and soggy. This will make them take on too much of a watery flavor. I like water and all....I just don't care for it getting in the way of a yummy yam flavor. I know. Picky, picky.
2. Drain the water off of your yams and place them in a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer.
3. Combine the sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, orange juice and zest together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk it all together.
4. Add the this mixture to the hot yams. Mix well.
5. Add the flour and salt to the hot yams and continue to mix. You want all ingredients to be well incorporated. 
6. Pour the mixture into a 4-5 quart casserole dish. 
7. Chop your pecans. I like to use a mini food processor. Couldn't live with out it. 
8. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl.
9. Sprinkle the heavenly, buttery, pecan topping over the top of your yam mixture.
10. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.