4 pounds yams*, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, divided
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Bring large pot of water to boil; add yams. Cook about 4 minutes or until water returns to simmer; drain. Rinse under cold water.
Arrange yams in prepared dish. Season with salt. Pour syrup over yams. Dot with 3 tablespoons butter. Cover and bake about 25 minutes or until yams are almost tender.
Mix flour and brown sugar in medium bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup butter. Cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add pecans; mix.
Sprinkle pecan mixture over yams; bake 20 minutes or until tender.
*Sweet potatoes may be substituted.