Thanksgiving with a West Indian twist: Pineapple rum candied yams

PIX11 Morning News

The tri-state region is home to more than a million people from the across the Caribbean.

The flavors of the West Indies show up on many Thanksgiving tables, whether its cod fish fritters, plantains, jerk turkey or curry goat and oxtail.

Chef Tamar Poyser, who was born in Jamaica and raised in Brooklyn, joined the PIX11 Morning News.

Poyser turned her love for food into a full-time calling. She’s now an award-winning personal chef who prides herself on infusing the flavors of her culture into her cooking.

The chef showed us how to make her pineapple rum candied yams. Full recipe below.

Pineapple rum candied yams


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup chopped pineapple
  • 1 tsp fresh shredded ginger
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Wray nephews rum
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 big pinch of salt
  • Marshmallows for the top (optional)
  • Cornstarch slurry (1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with juice from 1 lemon)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45min to an hour or until you can press them with your finger.

While the yams are baking you can start the pineapple rum sauce. Place all the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced by a ¼ then add corn starch slurry. Bring back to a boil and then remove from heat and set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done allow them to cool until they are safe to handle. Once they are cool peel the potatoes and cut into ½ inch rounds.

Butter a 9 inch cast iron skillet (or any oven safe dish) and start to layer your potatoes into the pan pouring the sauce over each layer. Bake uncovered for about an hour until sauce is reduced and caramelized. If using marshmallows remove from the oven and cover top with marshmallows place back in the oven just until they are golden brown.

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