Fire Up the Blowtorch

There's always room for power tools in the kitchen.

I made this Sweet Potato Brulee for Thanksgiving and it was amazing, garnering accolades from everyone who tried it. I made a huge portion because we had 40 people for dinner. This really is so easy to make, although it takes about 3 1/2 hours total. Just plan your time and you’ll make a splash with this side dish at Christmas dinner. Also, you can use sweet potatoes or yams. I used red yams because they’re a little sweeter than the sweet potatoes and have that color everyone thinks of for the holidays.

Sweet Potato Brulee
Yield: 8-10 side-dish servings
Active time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 3 1/2 hours (including cooling)
Special tool: Blowtorch

2 lb sweet potatoes or yams (2 or 3 large)
7 large egg yolks
3 TBS packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups whole milk
7 or so TBS super fine sugar

1. Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Bake in a foil-lined shallow baking dish until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
3. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Cut into chunks and puree in a food processor until smooth.
4. Whisk together yolks, brown sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in sweet potato puree until combined, then gently stir in milk until combined. Pour mixture into a shallow 2 1/2-qt baking dish (like a 12-inch quiche dish) and bake until custard is just set, about one hour. Cool in dish on a rack (custard will continue to set as it cools).
5. Just before serving, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the entire surface. Move a blowtorch flame evenly back and forth over the sugar until it carmelizes, about 3 minutes. Let stand until topping hardens, about 3 to 5 minutes.

About Chef Ro

I am executive chef of Barcellona Bites, a boutique catering and personal chef service in Folsom, CA. I am also a wife, mom of two college-aged daughters in the Pacific Northwest, yogi and animal lover. Please LIKE my facebook page for tasty recipes, helpful information and kitchen, cooking and lifestyle tips.
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2 Responses to Fire Up the Blowtorch

  1. Chef Ro says:

    What a riot! I say you fire up the blow torch and the fire extinguisher and go for it.


  2. Jim Seybert says:

    OMG – My brother, dad and I tried something similar about 5 years ago at Thanksgiving. We didn’t have a culinary torch, just one I had bought at OSH Hardware to repair a leaking pipe. Such tools have a safety valve that cuts off the flame when you point it downward. So, we disabled the safety valve and proceeded to torch the tops of the desserts. Damn near burned the house down. Your post makes me want to try again – this time with the proper tools.


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