Candied Texas Yam and Smoked Apple Casserole with Toasted Mesquite Marshmallows


Serves 8-10 • Photography by Jenna Northcutt

Recipe courtesy of The Brewer's Table Chef Zach Hunter


Candied Texas Yam and Smoked Apple Casserole with Toasted Mesquite Marshmallows


For 1 Batch(es)

For the casserole filling:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, blanched, peeled
  • 6 small Texas yams
  • 3 Golden Supreme apples
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 zest of lemon

For the marshmallows:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water, separated
  • 4 envelopes powdered gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground mesquite bean
  • Vegetable oil for brushing

For the candied peels:

  • 8 cups grapeseed oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • Reserved apple and sweet potato peels

Candied Texas Yam and Smoked Apple Casserole with Toasted Mesquite Marshmallows Directions

  1. In a pot, melt and carmelize the brown sugar on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once the sugar is evenly carmelized and dark brown, add the heavy whipping cream and beer slowly while mixingm and simmer while whisking continuously. Summer the resulting caramel for 5 to 6 minutes, and then slowly add the cold cubed butter 1 piece at a time. Once the butter is completely incorporated, remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Toast the hazelnuts at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Add the hazelnuts to a blender and blend on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth. Add the hazelnut puree to the caramel mixture and mix well with a whisk.
  3. Peel the yams and apples, setting the peels aside. Store the peeled apples in cold water until you're ready to process them—the yams should be reserved separately. Cut the apples and yams into 1-inch cubes. Add the apples to the caramel sauce and stir until completely coated. Boil the yams in water for about 25 minutes, just until fork-tender. Remove yams and add to the caramel, stirring until the yams are coated. Add maple syrup and the zest of 1 lemon and mix. Using a rubeer spatula, spoon the apples, yams and caramel sauce to an oven-safe baking dish. 
  4. For the candied peels, place the peels in separate mixing bowls and pour enough boiling water over each to cover. Allow them to sit for 20 minutes, then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry. Heat the grapeseed oil to 325° and fry both apple and yam peels until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove the peels from the oil and let them cool on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season lightly with kosher salt.
  5. For the marshmallows, brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil. Set dish asisde.
  6. Put the granulated suar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mizture reaches a boil, cook without stirring for about 9 minutes, until it registers 238° on a candy thermometer.
  7. Meanwhile, put the remaining water into the bowl of an electric mixter fitten with a whisk attachment, and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let the mixture soften for 5 minutes. Then, with the mixture on low speed, whisk the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. Gradually raise the mixer's speed to high. Whisk the mixture for about 12 minutes, until it's very stiff. Beat in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, for about 3 hours, until firm.
  8. Sift the ground mesquite bean and 1 cup of the powdered sugar together on a work surface. Remove the marshmallow from the dish and palce on top of the powdered sugar mixture; remove the parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut the marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift the remaining 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar into a small bowl and roll each marshmallow into the sugar to coat. 
  9. Cover the top of the casserole with the marshmallows. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 325° for 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil, return the dish to the oven and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the broil setting, until the marshmallows are toasted and slightly burnt. 

Recipe notes

For this dish, I leaned on my love for the classic Thanksgiving side of sweet potato casserole or candied yams, topped with gooey toasted marshmallows. This version includes a similar aesthetic, but with unique flavors and a smoky finish. It also features a great use for apple and potato peels! –Zach Hunter

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