Thursday, November 15, 2007

Flan de Comote

In the islands off the coast of Yucatan and Honduras the sweet potato was called axi and batatas or betatas by the natives. It was taken to Spain around 1500 and several varieties were cultivated there ranging in color from white to bright purple. The more common orange sweet potato is used here (not to be confused with a yam) and is a nutritional powerhouse supplying an impressive amount of vitamin A, C, B6, calcium, dietary fiber, potassium and iron.

2 medium-size sweet potatoes
or 1 cup canned sweet potatoes
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 (14-ounce) cans sweet condensed milk
2 cups milk
10 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bake sweet potatoes at 400*F (205*C) for 1 hour or until tender; cool to touch. Peel and mash; reserve 1 cup mashed sweet potato.Sprinkle sugar in a 10-inch round cakepan. Place over medium heat, and cook, shaking pan constantly, until sugar melts and turns a light golden brown. Remove from heat; set aside. (Mixture may crack slightly as it cools.)
Process 1/2 cup sweet potato, 1 can condensed milk, and half of next 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides; pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure; whisk until combined. Pour mixture over caramelized sugar; cover with aluminum foil, and place in a large shallow pan. Pour hot water into larger pan to a depth of 1/2-inch.
Bake at 325*F (160*C) for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove pan from water, and uncover; run a knife around edge of pan to loosen and prevent flan from cracking. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes; cover and chill at least 8 hours. Run a knife around edge of flan again to loosen; invert onto a serving plate.
Makes 1 (10-inch) flan.

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