Sweet Potato Pots de Crème with Toasted Marshmallow
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If your one Thanksgiving goal is to wow your guests, look no further than Erin McDowell’s recipe for sweet potato pots de crème. It looks and tastes like a fancy restaurant dessert, but is secretly so, so easy.
“Pots de crème is a lesser known but beloved restaurant-style dessert,” the author of The Fearless Baker tells us, “but more people should be making it at home because it is so make-ahead friendly. It takes some time to bake, but it’s very hands-off and simple to make the mixture. You can even make everything up to three days ahead of your event and it will hold really well.”
“I added a little bit of marshmallow fluff topping,” she continues, “to give you that flavor of the classic sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows on top, which I always thought was more of a dessert than a side dish.” (If you want to make this dish ahead, just add the topping right before serving, otherwise it will get melty and weepy in the fridge.)
Not yet convinced? McDowell assures us that this dessert is practically foolproof, even for beginners: “The starch in the sweet potato makes it really thick, smooth and creamy, and it’s a great way to use leftover sweet potatoes. You can use any variety of sweet potato as long as it’s mashed up.”
This dessert has all the fall flavor of a pumpkin pie without the fussiness of a crust. Plus, you get to whip out your blow torch. Enough said.
1 cup (230g) heavy cream
½ cup (113g) whole milk
¾ cup (166g) sweet potato puree
⅓ cup (71g) light brown sugar
⅓ cup (113g) honey
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (32g) marshmallow fluff
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a large kettle of water to a simmer. Place six 6-ounce ramekins in a baking pan.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, sweet potato puree, sugar and honey, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to make sure the mixture is smooth and the sugar is fully dissolved.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to combine.
4. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk until the two mixtures are well combined. Transfer to a large container with a pour spout (e.g., a 4-cup liquid measuring cup).
5. Gently pour the custard into the prepared ramekins, filling each three quarters of the way full. Carefully transfer the baking pan to the oven. Once it’s on the center rack, pour the kettle of hot water into the baking pan so that the water comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set at the edges but still jiggly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes.
6. Remove the custards from the water bath to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
7. To serve, top each chilled pot de crème with a heaping tablespoon of marshmallow fluff. If desired, toast with a torch just before serving.