Sweet Potato Flan

Here’s a mellow way to flavour this creamy and comforting Spanish custard dessert. It can be made 1 day ahead, kept in the form chilled and covered.IMG_3233

Makes 5-6 servings.

  •  1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam; no more than 350g)
  • 200g sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 250 ml half and half
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125 ml whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tawny Port (tawny, not ruby red – the color is important!)

Prepare the potato pure in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pierce sweet potato with fork
  3. Roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on width of potato.

Or prepare it in the microwave:

  1. Place a potato in on High for about 3 minutes
  2. Let sit 3 minutes;
  3. Start again for 3 minutes;
  4. Let sit for 3 minutes

Make a puree

  1. Cool sweet potato
  2. Cut potato in half and scoop flesh into mini processor; puree until smooth. This may be done in a blender, or by hand… depending on your preference. I find  the hand held single blade rotary things most effective.
  3. Measure 250g puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use).

Prepare the caramel:

  1. Stir 100g sugar and 2 tablespoons water in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 5 minutes.
  3. Immediately pour caramel into 20 cm -diameter metal cake pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons caramel in saucepan.
  4. Using pot holders, swirl cake pan, allowing caramel to coat bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides.

Prepare the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Add half and half to remaining caramel in saucepan.
  3. Stir over medium-low heat until caramel dissolves.
  4. Whisk eggs in medium bowl until frothy.
  5. Whisk in cream, salt, sweet potato puree, and remaining 100g sugar.
  6. Gradually whisk in hot half and half mixture.
  7. Strain into same saucepan.
  8. Stir over medium heat 1 minute.
  9. Remove from heat; whisk in Port.
  10. Pour custard into prepared cake pan.

Bake the whole thing

  1. Place cake pan in large roasting pan.
  2. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  3. Bake until just set in center, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove flan from water.
  5. Chill until cold, about 5 hours.IMG_3231


  1. Dip bottom and 1 inch up sides of cake pan into pan of hot water 15 seconds.
  2. Wipe dry.
  3. Invert onto rimmed plate, scraping caramel in pan over flan


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