5 lbs. garnet yams or sweet potatoes, of equal size
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (1 stick)
1/2 cup cane syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup each flour and packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 400°
Put yams on baking sheet and roast 50 minutes or until they are barely tender yet still hold their shape. Let cool completely at room temperature. This step can be done up to 2 days ahead.
Remove skins and cut yams into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Butter a 2 quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. arrange yam slices in dish, slightly overlapping. Heat oven to 375°.
In small pan, on medium heat, mix syrup, salt, pepper and another 4 tablespoons of the butter until butter melts. Whisk to mix. Pour mixture over yams.
In small bowl, mix pecans, flour, sugar and cinnamon . Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and rub in with fingers until mixture is evenly moistened and forms clumps; sprinkle mixture over yams.
Bake yams 35 minutes or until topping is browned.