Sweet potato custard is a completely delicious dessert that just happens to also be completely Primal. Sweet potato, eggs, high-fat dairy (or coconut milk) and a drizzle of maple syrup are the main ingredients in this easy to make, easy to love dessert.
Sweet potato custard is rich and creamy, with a mild flavor reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Except this dessert is better than pumpkin pie—because custard doesn’t need a crust. Every spoonful brings hints of roasted sweet potato, maple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s a dessert that’s nearly healthy enough to eat for breakfast (not that we’ve done that…).
If you crave a crunchy texture, garnish sweet potato custard with whole pecans. And although the custard certainly doesn’t need it, a dollop of whipped cream on top wouldn’t hurt anything either.
Servings: 6 to 8
Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes, plus 1 hour to bake
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 cups half-and-half, whole milk, or coconut milk (475 ml)
- 2 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup maple syrup (60 ml)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2.5 ml)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (2.5 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (1.2 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (1.2 ml)
- 1 cup pecans, raw or lightly toasted in the oven (120 g)
Preheat oven to 350º F/176º C
Fill a teakettle or large pot with water and slowly bring to a boil while you make the custard. (Baking custard in a baking dish set inside a larger baking dish filled with hot water helps keep the texture smooth)
Set a 9 or 10-inch pie plate inside a larger baking dish (the larger, the better, as it makes it easier to lift the pie plate out). Or, bake the custard in smaller custard dishes that are set inside the rimmed baking dish.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 or 2-inch chunks. The exact size doesn’t matter so much, just make sure all the pieces are basically the same size so they cook evenly.
In a pot of water, bring the sweet potato chunks to a boil then lower the heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the pieces are soft and easily pierced by a fork. Drain.
Puree the sweet potato in a food processor until smooth. Put aside 1 cup of the puree for the custard. (Refrigerate the extra sweet potato puree and save it for another meal. It’s delicious with salt and butter.)
In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 eggs, 3 egg yolks, maple syrup. vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sweet potato puree.
In a small saucepan, gently warm the half-and-half or milk.
Slowly pour the warm milk into the sweet potato mixture, whisking until smooth.
Pour the custard into the pie plate; don’t fill it all the way to the top, but instead leave a little space. Or, pour the custard into smaller custard dishes.
Carefully pour boiling water into the larger baking dish that the pie plate or custard dishes are sitting in until the water comes halfway up the pie plate or custard dishes. Transfer to the oven; bake until the custard is set and no longer jiggling in the middle, about 1 hour. Put the custard on a cooling rack and cool at least 10 to minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftover custard in the refrigerator.
Garnish with pecans.