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Yankee Maple Flan

I prefer yams or sweet potatoes to pumpkin because you don’t have to peel them, and they’re more vibrantly colored.  Even though sweet potatoes are related to morning glories, and yams are related to the lily and grass families (and are drier and starchier), I use them interchangeably.  I love the red Garnet yams!

While my version of this recipe is far from being vegan, feel free to replace cream and milk with coconut milk or hemp, almond, rice or soy milk.  Replace eggs with silken tofu.  Do what feels right. As to calories, have the whole family take a long walk before dessert.  Serve lots of fresh berries on the side

Serves 8                                                                                 Bake at 350 degrees

2 C Butternut Farms Grade B maple syrup 2 tsp vanilla extract
2 C heavy cream 2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 C whole milk 1 tsp ground ginger
6 whole eggs ¼ tsp nutmeg
2 C cooked or canned sweet potato or yam ¼ tsp Celtic sea salt

If you’re baking your own yams (or sweet potatoes), scrub, cut off ends and put in baking dish in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Bake until the sugar in the yams begins to run and they are soft to the touch.  (I bake a whole bunch at once and save them to snack on during the week.)

You’ll need a 2-qt soufflé dish, round ceramic casserole or glass bowl.  Preheat empty dish while you cook 1 C maple syrup in a 2-qt heavy saucepan over low heat until syrup bubbles.  Remove hot dish from oven.  Pour in bubbling syrup, tilting dish so syrup covers bottom and sides.  Keep tilting until syrup cools.  Put dish in a pan or pot.  Put both onto middle shelf of oven.  Add hot water to outer pan to a depth of 1 inch.

Put cooked yam (skin and all) right into a food processor with the steel blade inserted.  Or use a Vitamix.  If you have a small food processor, you’ll need to blend this recipe in two batches and combine in a bowl.

In the same pot you cooked the maple syrup, bring cream and milk to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Put eggs, remaining 1 C maple syrup, vanilla and spices into the food processor.  Blend.  Add hot cream and milk.  Blend.  Pour through a strainer into your flan dish.  Bake for about 1½ hours, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove dish from water bath and transfer to rack to cool.  Cover and put in frig until cold.  To serve, run knife between flan and dish.  Shake dish gently from side to side.  Put serving platter with a lip upside down over dish.  Holding dish and platter securely together, invert and turn flan out onto platter.  Caramel will pour over and around flan. Yeah!

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