In a deep medium heavy saucepan, cook sweet potatoes/yams in boiling water to cover until just tender. Drain and thoroughly cool potatoes. Or, microwave potatoes at HIGH power for about 8 minutes; cool thoroughly. Do not overcook: potatoes should not be soft and mushy. Peel and cut potatoes crosswise into 1/8 to ¼-inch thick slices; set aside.
Prepare fruits for baking.
Arrange a layer of sweet potato/yam slices, apple slices, and pineapple cubes in a 1½ -quart casserole lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray. Evenly sprinkle half of the brown sugar over the mixture. Evenly dot mixture with half of the butter bits. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.
Repeat with a layer of remaining sweet potato/yam slices, apple slices, and pineapple cubes. Repeat brown sugar, butter, and salt as previously done. Evenly pour pineapple or orange juice or brandy over casserole mixture.
Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated moderate oven (375 degrees F.) for 30 minutes; uncover and continue baking about 10 minutes to lightly brown top of casserole mixture.
Variation: Garnish top of casserole with pecan or English walnut halves during the last 10 minutes of baking, if desired.
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