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Sweet Potato Flan with Orange-Rum Caramel

Sweet potato adds a unique and delicate flavor to a classic Spanish dessert. Not too heavy or too sweet, these baked silky-smooth custards are the perfect ending to a hearty meal. Sweet potato flavor really shines through in this rich and creamy flan with the help of bay leaves and a sweet orange-rum caramel. Prepare them a night or two in advance so the custard has time to set up.


6 servings

Total Time

1½ hours + chilling

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Preheat oven to 300°. Coat six 6-oz. custard cups with nonstick spray and set in a large baking dish. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

For the caramel, boil ¾ cup brown sugar, orange juice, and rum in a saucepan over medium heat until it registers 240–245° on an instant-read thermometer, 78 minutes. Divide caramel evenly among prepared cups (about 1 Tbsp.) and let sit until firm.

For the flan, heat cream and bay leaves in a saucepan over medium-low until it bubbles. Remove pan from heat and steep cream 15 minutes; discard bay leaves.

Whisk together sweet potato, sour cream, ½ cup brown sugar, egg yolks, egg, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly whisk cream into sweet potato mixture; strain through a fine-mesh sieve and evenly divide among custard cups.

Transfer baking dish to oven and pour boiling water into dish about halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover baking dish with foil and bake flan 30 minutes; remove foil and bake until centers are just set, 1518 minutes more.

Remove cups from baking dish, let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, then cover each with plastic wrap and chill a minimum of one night or a maximum of two.

To serve, dip bottoms of cups into hot water, run a paring knife around edges of flan, and invert onto serving plates.


So the caramel sets up in the cups and doesn’t mix with the custard, be sure to cook it to 240–245°.

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