Friday, January 4, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving -- Sweet Potato Pie

I love sweet potato pie. To be honest, I really love sweet potatoes. They make excellent fries and they are wonderful baked or roasted. It's like a vegetable dessert. To that end, I'm always happy when I have extra sweet potato pie filling. I have three great uses for it:

  1. Sweet Potato Pie Waffles -- stir some into your batter. Make sure you oil your waffle maker very well because the batter will stick! (Ask me how I know.) This will work for pancakes as well. I'm just partial to waffles.
  2. Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream -- this isn't original. Ben and Jerry's used to have a sweet potato pie flavor. I miss it so. I should make some soon.
  3. Sweet Potato Crème Brulée -- I could eat crème brulée every day. Since sweet potato pie is a custard pie and crème brulée is a custard, I figured it would be a beautiful marriage. This is my second year making it. I adapted this recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
Bring some heavy cream, sugar (just a little) and salt to a boil. Allow it to cool for 15 min.
Mix your pie filling with cold heavy cream to thin it out. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Mix both cream mixtures together and then temper the eggs. Combine everything.

Strain. (You could stop here and make ice cream.)

Pour into ramekins. Yes the towel is necessary. It keeps the ramekins from clanking against each other in the water bath. Add water to the pan. Try not to splash it into the ramekins (easier said than done).

Bake until only the center remains jiggly or until the custard reaches 170-175 degrees.
Cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill. Chill thoroughly. No cheating! Now for the fun part. Sprinkle with a scant teaspoon of sugar (try to get in an even layer) and break out your kitchen torch. Flame on!!! If you can stand it, put the custard back into the fridge for an additional chill. (Caramelizing the sugar warmed up the custard.)

You should now have a beautifully caramelized, crackly sugar crust covering an ice cold, creamy custard. Wow.
Tools of the trade:

1 comment:

Mary Coleman said...

Oh my!! What a wonderful combination of flavors this has to be! Santa brought a kitchen "blow torch" for Christmas and this will be the recipe for its inauguration!
Great blog!