Yams are my favorite Thanksgiving side. I think because they straddle that line of dessert and savory so beautifully. This dish leans into that aspect, by turning the yams into a rich, warm pudding topped with a crunchy bacon streusel. You can scale it up or down depending on how many people you want to serve, and could even turn it into a pie by pouring the yam mixture into a pie crust and baking it that way. Enjoy!
1 pound yams
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the baking pan
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 scant cup milk
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly grated gruyere
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Puncture the yams with a fork, rubbing them with olive oil as well. Sprinkle with salt and roast until soft in the middle, about 30-45 minutes.
Peel the skin off of the yams and force through a ricer or food mill. Place them in a small pot over low heat. Separately, brown the butter and add it to the pureed mixture, as well as the maple syrup and nutmeg. Using a wooden spoon, stir blend. Salt and pepper to taste and continue stirring until slightly dry. Add the flour to the milk and stir to dissolve some of the flour. Add the milk mixture to the pot and continue mixing until thick. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Add the egg yolks and the cheese, stirring to combine. Spoon into lightly buttered dishes (I use personal souffle dishes). Top with the bacon streusel, bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
INGREDIENTS (BACON CINNAMON STREUSEL)
1/4 cup raw bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces cold unsalted butter, cubed
Using your fingers or a food processor, combine the bacon, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Set aside to top on the pudding.