I use the sweet potato with an orange-colored flesh, which are also called yams. In Spanish, or at least in Puerto Rico, we call these “batata mameya”. I included some pictures for reassurance. These, I find, are tad less sweet than the white sweet potato.
SWEET POTATO FLAN
1 medium sweet potato, baked – about 1 cup of baked flesh 1 carton evaporated milk 1 can condensed milk 1 pack of cream cheese – you can use 1/3 less fat version 2 tablespoons vanilla extract or vanilla powder 3 tablespoons cornstarch strip of lemon rind or grated lemon zest 3/4 cup brown sugar – for caramel
- Bake the sweet potato in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. I encourage you to do this ahead of time. Just cut the ends of the potato, pierce it with a fork all around and bake.
- After baking, remove the flesh from the skin and mash it well with a fork.
- Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
- Place brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Mix a bit of water and carmelize about 10 -12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix in a blender or food processor the baked sweet potato flesh, milks, cream cheese, vanilla and cornstarch. You’ll also mix in the grated lemon zest, if using. If using a piece of lemon rind, don’t put it in yet. If you feel the blender is too full, just mix the milks first. Take some out, blend the sweet potato with the remaining milks and then put it all together. It will fit.
- Drizzle the caramel in a glass dish and twirl making sure you cover the whole bottom of the dish with caramel. Careful if using a metal baking dish… the caramel is hot and heats the metal FAST.
- Pour flan mixture on top of the caramel.
- Drop in the piece of lemon peel.
- Place baking dish in a water bath.
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when the top is browned and a knife or wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Take out of the water bath and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
- When ready to serve… Release over a dish so the caramel side is on top.
If you rather make a traditional vanilla flan, just omit the sweet potato and only use 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch.