Preparation / Directions:
FOR FILLING: Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce yams with fork several times. Place on baking sheet and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool yams slightly. Peel and puree in processor. In electric mixer, cream 1/2 cup butter with sugar in large bowl until light. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 3 cups yam puree, half and half and next 9 ingredients.
FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter 10-inch pan. Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter in bowl. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Pour filling into crust. Bake until center of pie is set, about 1 hour. Transfer to rack and cool completely.
FOR POURING CUSTARD: Place milk, with vanilla, in heavy medium saucepan. Scald milk. Remove from heat. cover and let stand 20 minutes. In electric mixer, beat yolks and sugar in medium bowl until pale yellow and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted. Gradually beat milk into egg mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 12 minutes; DO NOT BOIL. Strain into bowl. Refrigerate until cool, stirring occasionally. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
FINI: Cut pie into wedges. Transfer to plates. Pour custard around pie. sprinkle custard with pecans and serve. From the Louisiana Conservationist, November/December 1989