Apricot-Glazed Sweet Potatoes
3/4 pound dried apricots
1 (9 ounce) can apricot nectar
3/4 cup water
3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
3/8 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup pecan halves
Place apricots in a medium saucepan and cover with apricot nectar and water. Let stand 1 hour for fruit to soften. Place over moderate heat and simmer, uncovered, until apricots are very tender, about 40 minutes. Cool and drain well, reserving the liquid.
Scrub sweet potatoes or yams. Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool; peel and cut into lengthwise slices about 1/4-inch thick. Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch shallow baking dish. Arrange a layer of sweet potatoes or yams in the dish. Cover with a layer of apricots. Repeat, alternating layers of potatoes and apricots. Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup reserved apricot liquid with melted butter or margarine, orange juice and orange rind. Pour mixture over the layers. May be covered and refrigerated for 2 days. Before baking, bring to room temperature.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes, basting occasionally with liquid in bottom of dish. Remove from oven and place pecan halves on top. Return to oven and bake until casserole is bubbling and top is well-glazed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.