I couldn't help it.
I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to make creme brulee for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, because I've made creme brulee plenty of times and blah blah blah.
But what I didn't mention on Tuesday was that I'd bought heavy cream and made sure I had plenty of eggs on hand just in case. Just in case I felt like making some. Because it's so yummy and so easy and so…sigh. Well anyway. I had the cream. And the eggs. I didn't make this for TWD, but, well, what ELSE was I going to do with the cream? I mean yeah, I could make ice cream, I guess. Or plenty of other things.
But I know that deep down inside (in my stomach, where else?) I really wanted to make some creme brulee.
So yesterday that's what I did. I couldn't post it til now because I didn't like the final pictures I took of the creme once it had been bruleed yesterday, and I ran out of butane for my torch, and so I had to get more butane this morning so I could finish the pictures.
And why sweet potato? Well, why not? Like pumpkin or squash, sweet potatoes lend themselves to desserty use, and I just happened to have two already-baked sweet potatoes in the fridge.
I didn't use Dorie's recipe, but I did use her cooking method. Ordinarily I make my creme brulee in a water bath. Dorie doesn't, at least not in the recipe in the book, so I figured I'd give it a shot her way. After all, you don't bake a pumpkin pie in a water bath, and that comes out fine, right?
So now, without further preamble, here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Creme Brulee.
You will need…
2 medium-small sweet potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and mashed. (About a cup and a half, more or less, of flesh.)
1 pint of heavy cream
3/4 cup milk (I used 2% because I would like to continue to squeeze into my clothes, and I figure the 2% milk balances out the heavy cream. Doesn't it?)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (brown sugar might be a nice substitution – I'll try that next time)
4 egg yolks
(I know, eeew. "What stubby little fingers she has!")
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine the milk and cream in a pot and bring just to a boil.
Whisk together the sugar, yolks and vanilla.
When the milk mixture is ready, slowly ladle about a quarter of it into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the yolks.
Then pour the yolk mixture slowly into the milk mixture, still whisking, until combined. Finally, gently whisk in the sweet potatoes. Strain this mixture to get rid of any of the fibrous bits from the sweet potatoes.
Pour strained custard into buttered ramekins.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 200 degrees F, until center is barely jiggly when you shake the ramekin.
Mine took an hour and a half. I know. That's a long time. I only used 6 of these little oval baking dishes, and consequently there was a lot of custard in each one. Next time I'd use 8 of them, which would lessen the bake time.
Allow these to cool to room temperature and then cover and chill 4-6 hours.
Once the custards have chilled, sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar on top, shake the ramekin or dish to distribute the sugar evenly.
And then, with your newly re-fueled butane torch, start bruleeing.
Now, that was last night when I was trying desperately to brulee three custards for my pictures. I had a lovely layout all pictured in my mind, and just needed to brulee three of them. Just three!
But no dice. Not enough butane. I got two out of the deal, thanks to a lot of begging and pleading with the fire gods.
Well, two's better than none, I figured, so I got out my spoon and dug in.
I guess that's an okay shot. But it wasn't what I wanted. So I switched the bowl around, switched the spoon to my left hand (so I could shoot with my right), and dug in again. (Oh, the torture I endure, as I eat up the first spoonful…)
Hmmm…it doesn't look so bad now as it did when I was first looking at it.
Well anyway, that was it for me yesterday. I gave some to the kids for dessert after dinner, garnished with one of those Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread things I made on Tuesday. Julia had a few bites and was finished. Alex, who loves pumpkin pie and similar flavors, dug into his with gusto – a spoon in one hand and the cookie in the other.
A little while later he called me into the room.
"Mom," he began, painfully. (He hates to disappoint me by telling me he doesn't like something I've made. I don't produce enough insulin to handle his sweetness, sometimes.)
"I don't like eating this in foonspuls," he said. "I just like eating it with the cookie."
I told him that was perfectly all right with me, and brought him another cookie.
He can be unbearably cute.
Anyway. This morning after dropping the kids off at school, I went to the grocery store for a few things AND picked up some more butane. I was back in business.
So here we go again.
That was pretty good….
Okay, well, the pictures are done. But there's that partial dug-into creme brulee to deal with now. I suppose I could put it back in the fridge. Save it for someone else.