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- Prep 20min
1-1/2 cups Stokes Purple potatoes, baked and mashed
tablespoons sugar, divided
teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and 3 tablespoons sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and another 3 tablespoons sugar. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook on low heat for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Add vanilla.
Fill the custard cups with enough of the cream mixture so they are about seven-eighths full. Place the filled cups in a baking pan that is large enough to hold them all. Add enough hot water to come within 1 inch of the top of the cups. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the custards are barely set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little wet. Remove the custards from the baking pan and place them in the refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the broiler. Lightly sprinkle the surface of each custard with 1-1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Place the custards under the broiler for 30 seconds and let them brown. Keep an eye on the custards, as this happens quickly. (Sugar can also be caramelized with a torch.)
Remove the custards from the heat, and once the sugar has hardened, serve.
Nutrition InformationNo nutrition information available for this recipe
For a ‘Proper Proper Proper’ Baked Sweet Potato, Freeze It First
Lucas Sin held a small purple sweet potato in each hand, his phone balanced on the kitchen counter recording. November in New York meant the chill was setting in, and Sin took to Instagram to share his memory of the winters he spent in China as a kid, along with a recipe for what he dubbed — in all caps — “proper proper proper sweet potatoes!!”
“It’s cold, it’s wintery,” he said, painting the picture for his 43,000 Instagram followers. “You’re walking down the street and you see a woman with a shovel and this gigantic wok filled with rocks or pebbles or coals, and she’s digging in there, just flipping potatoes and rotating, and you get this beautiful waft… it’s the perfect snack.” Sin explained the unique conditions that make those wok-roasted sweet potatoes so magical: The freezing they go through when left outside in China’s coldest regions improves the texture of the potato’s flesh, while cooking at such a high heat results in smoky, caramelized outer edges.
As a kid in Hong Kong — where it never got quite cold enough for sweet potatoes to actually freeze — Sin still ate a version of this snack. He’d walk the streets with his nose up until he found a vendor engulfed in a cloud of sweet steam. A cook, standing at a small cart, would pass the warm potatoes over a low counter. “During a certain time of the year, all around Hong Kong, if you’re lucky, you’ll smell this a block or two away. The sweet potato is nice and charred outside, super, super fluffy inside,” says Sin, who now lives in New York. “They serve the sweet potato inside a brown paper bag, and you walk along the street eating it.”
Sin is the lead chef at Junzi, a fast-casual Chinese restaurant with locations throughout New York City. When the pandemic hit, and with would-be diners and beginner home cooks around the country stuck at home, Sin drew a wider Instagram audience with the approachable Chinese recipes he shared to his page. When Sin posts a cooking tip or recipe, it’s not long before it seems all his followers are in their own kitchens, posting recreations of his tomato egg drop noodle soup or steamed eggs dotted with XO sauce and scallions.
Recreating this gooey, sugar-oozing sweet potato is simple, and from his home kitchen, Sin shared the process to Instagram: Scrub a few small sweet potatoes of any variety, and put them into the freezer for an hour or two. Then, roast them on parchment paper or aluminum foil at 450 degrees. After an hour or so, once caramelized sugar is seeping from the potatoes and trapped steam has separated the skin from the flesh, they’re finished. But as the chef points out, it’s near impossible to overcook a sweet potato, the sugars becoming more concentrated as they cook.
“One of the core tenets of Chinese cooking is that water is flavorless,” Sin tells me. “So a lot of Chinese technique is to force the water out of something so that what’s left behind is the more concentrated essence of that ingredient. [By freezing the potatoes first,] the inside of the sweet potato becomes ice. As these crystals form, they start to break up the cell walls within, without puncturing the skin.” Sin describes this process as essentially macerating the uncooked flesh, so that once it bakes, it takes on a smooth mashed potato-like texture. “It’s important that the skin isn’t punctured. All that stuff is stuck inside of the sweet potato.”
Holding it up to the camera in the original video, Sin cut into a baked sweet potato to show off its fluffy insides. Cooks at home were quick to follow his lead, moving ice cubes aside to fit sweet potatoes in their freezers. One commenter wrote that the sweet potato she’d baked using the method “tastes like winter in China.” Another said it brought back memories of their own time there.
Sin shows off a sweet potato, fresh out of the oven. Lucas Sin
“Instagram is a ridiculous place,” Sin says, laughing at the outsized response to his one-ingredient recipe. “My job is not content creation. I just tell people about Chinese food because I think people should know about it. Now, everyone and their mother are making this sweet potato.” Celebrities DM’d Sin, wanting more details on how to top their sweet potatoes, or asking if they should puncture the potatoes before baking. “What I love about the things that I have put up on Instagram is that they’re simultaneously so silly and so straightforward,” he says.
Sin topped his own sweet potato with whipped creme fraiche, spiced honey, toasted oats, and, as he put it “literally whatever is tasty and textured.” I sprinkled mine with homemade granola, and ate it at 3 p.m., still in my pajamas. On Instagram, others finished theirs off with sunflower butter, with dark and sticky date syrup, or just split them open and sprinkled them with salt.
Maybe going absolutely bonkers over a baked sweet potato does feel a little silly. But this snack, main course, dessert — however you treat it — is a fitting symbol for our shared emotional state as home cooks in the umpteenth month of this pandemic. We need something to feel special, to break us free of the monotony of cooking the same dishes with the same ingredients day, after day, after day. But still, for those of us privileged enough to be sequestered at home where we eat, work, and sleep, trips to the grocery store are infrequent. And unless you’re already somewhere where sweet potato vendors roam the streets, it’s going to be quite some time until boarding a flight and finding this treat, wrapped in a paper bag, is a safe option.
It’s reassuring to know that, though you’ve run out of flour and you’re low on eggs, that sprouting sweet potato in your cupboard can become something remarkable. You could follow in Sin’s footsteps and adorn it with spiced honey and black sugar. Or, he suggests, “just serve it as-is. It’s delicious.”
Sweet potatoes are a must for Thanksgiving and this dish will be a hit on your Holiday table. It’s easy to assemble a day ahead so it’s ready to pop in the oven on Thanksgiving day. Serve it alongside your turkey, Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing and Cranberry Pear Sauce, a must!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I’ve been testing so many Thanksgiving recipes from side dishes to leftovers these past few weeks. This is one we made a few years back that we all loved! It’s the dish that finally turned me into a sweet potato fan and is always on my holiday table. Previously I only enjoyed them as sweet potato fries, or in a sweet potato pie, but now I love them so many ways.
Purple Sweet Potatoes Recipes
Baked purple sweet potato recipe
Wash the sweet potato well and dry it with the skin still on. Then, make slits in it, leaving about a ¼ inch (0.5 cm) at the base. Place it on a baking sheet, and brush extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil over it.
Season, and place it in an oven at 400 °F (200 °C) to bake for 35-40 minutes. Drizzle more oil over the top and bake for 5 more minutes. Next, remove it from the over, and serve it with a salad or quinoa.
Mashed purple sweet potato recipe
Peel 3 purple sweet potatoes, chop them into chunks or wedges, and boil them until they are soft. Next, put them in a pan, add a tablespoon of butter or extra virgin olive oil, a little milk or water, and mash until creamy. Season to taste.
Purple sweet potato soup recipe
In a large pot, gently fry a chopped onion and 3 crushed garlic cloves until softened. Add 4 medium chopped purple sweet potatoes and 4 cups of chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and put the soup in the blender. Whizz until smooth, and if you like, you can add more broth to adjust the consistency.
Sprinkle with chopped herbs.
Serve in bowls with a spoon of crème fraîche.
Purple sweet potato pancakes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
- 1 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon solid for coating pan
- 2/3 cup cooked purple sweet potato mash
- 1 cup +1 Tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Maple syrup for topping
Mix the egg yolk, milk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, flour, and baking powder.
Next, gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet, and add the sweet potato mash.
In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and then add them to the rest of the batter.
Over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter in a frying pan. When it is hot enough, pour out a ¼ cup worth of pancake batter, and cook for about a minute, until bubbles begin to appear.
Flip the pancake and bake another 1 1/2 minute. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes with Smokey Glazed Carrots
For the potatoes
- 3 medium purple sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp butter
- unsweetened plant milk of your choice
- salt, pepper
For the carrots
- 6-8 carrots
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- dash of hot sauce
- salt, pepper
Peel the purple sweet potatoes and cut them into large pieces. Add a little water to a saucepan, bring to boil, and add the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Drain the potatoes, return them to the saucepan, and add butter. Mash with a potato masher, add milk to make it creamy, and season with salt and pepper.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, water, liquid smoke, garlic powder, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
Peel the carrots, and add them to a medium skillet with enough water to cover. Cook them for 5 minutes, drain them, and return them to the skillet. Add the vinegar mixture and cook for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat, until the glaze gets thick and coats the carrots.
Whisk together lemon juice and tahini for the tahini drizzle.
To serve, add a scoop of mashed purple sweet potatoes to a place, top with carrots, drizzle with tahini and sprinkle with rose pepper.
Purple Sweet Potato Grits
- 2 medium purple sweet potatoes 3 to 4 cups, peeled and grated
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white stone-ground grits
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Dash of ground nutmeg
Boil the water with the salt in a large saucepan. Add the grits slowly, whisking constantly while adding. Stir in the sweet potatoes, and cover the saucepan and lower the heat to low.
Simmer for about 40-50 minutes, and stir until the grits are thick and creamy, and the potatoes have “melted” into them. Add ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie
- 3/4 c roasted purple sweet potato
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Vanilla extract
- Sweetener of choice
Blend all the listed ingredients, but layer them into the blender. Add the easiest first, and gradually add, with the hardest to blend on top: almond milk, yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, raspberries, sweet potato.
Add a natural sweetener to sweeten the smoothie, blend once more, and enjoy!
Purple Sweet Potato Muffins
For the Sweet Potato Puree:
- 2 Large Purple Sweet Potatoes, cleaned and peeled
- 1-2 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Milk, optional
For the Muffin Batter:
- 1 ¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Sweet Potato Puree
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- ½ Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Vegetable Oil
Make the sweet potato puree. Dice the peeled sweet potatoes into medium size pieces, add them to a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil, lower the heat to a steady simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes until they are tender.
Drain the potatoes, transfer them to a food processor, and puree until they are smooth. If you cannot get a smooth texture, add in a few tablespoons of non-dairy milk. Measure out one cup of pureed potatoes and set it aside. Let the puree cool to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F, and mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Set it aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet potato puree, oil, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, combine, and transfer the batter to a muffins pan lined with paper liners. Fill the liners 2/3 full, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup sweet potato mash
At a medium heat, add heavy cream, brown and white sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer.
In a large bowl, scramble eggs and egg yolks until blended. Take the heavy cream mixture and slowly add to the eggs, ensuring that you don't cook the eggs quickly. Transfer egg mixture back to the sauce pan. Then add sweet potato mash and blend together. With a strainer, transfer the sweet potato mixture to acheive smooth consistency.
Add water to a deep pan and place four ramikans in the water bath. Add sweet potato mixture to the ramikans and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degress.
Add sugar to the top of the cooked potato mixture. With a blow torch, carmalize the sugar until it's a hard, shiny coat.