4 lbs of yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
8 Tbsp (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400?F. Butter a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add yams. Cook until water returns to a simmer, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse in cold water.
Arrange yams in baking dish, overlapping pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Pour maple syrup over yams. Dot with 3 Tbsp of butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until yams are almost tender, about 25 minutes.
Mix flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add remaining 5 Tbsp of butter. Rub in with fingers until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Mix in pecans.
Sprinkle pecan mixture over yams. Bake yams until tender, about 20 minutes.