Mary Anne's Rum-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish, how about kicking it up a notch or two this Thanksgiving! Your guests and family will be asking for seconds after tasting this savory delight.

3 pounds sweet potatoes, pricked several times with a skewer

3 Golden Delicious apples

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup toasted pecans

3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the sweet potatoes in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Let them cool. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.

-Peel the apples and cut them lengthwise into eighths. In a bowl toss the apples with lemon juice and arrange them with the sweet potato slices in a buttered 9 x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

-In a stainless steel or enameled saucepan, cook the remaining ingredients over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Spoon the mixture over the sweet potatoes and apples and bake the gratin in the middle of the oven, basting occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the apples are just tender and the sweet potatoes are heated through.

-Put the gratin under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat until the edges are lightly browned. Serves 6-8.

Note: The uncooked sweet potato gratin can be assembled one day ahead and kept refrigerated, covered, only to bake it on Thanksgiving.