5 Lb orange fleshed yams such as garnet (about 6 large)
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup fresh orange juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ - 1 cup of chopped pecans (depends on whether you like a lot of crunch or a subtle crunch in the topping)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400F. Prick the yams several times with a fork. Put then in the oven and bake until just beginning to be tender, about 1 ¼ hours. Transfer the yams to a wire rack and let then cool to room temperature. Cover loosely and let stand overnight at room temperature to firm up the texture.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish well with butter.
In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Peel the yams and cut them into slices about ½ inch thick. Arrange the sliced yams overlapping them in the prepared dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture and butter pieces over the yams. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover tightly with foil and bake until hot and steaming, about 25 minutes.
Uncover the dish and drizzle with the orange juice. Combine all the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the yams. Return to the oven and continue baking for 15-25 minutes basting with the syrup that accumulates. Pierce with a fork to ensure the yams are done. Remove from oven and serve hot.