My grandmother used nutmeg quite a bit, whenever she made desserts with sweet potatoes. I’ve picked up this habit and it’s a wonderful habit to have acquired. Come to think of it, I have a feeling she might have even laced some of her potato dishes with nutmeg. So here I am, following in her footsteps in a cooler direction.
I’m hosting a dinner this weekend and needed a dessert, instead of opting for a cake, I’ve decided to go with a fall-themed ice cream and the idea of nutmeg and sweet potatoes was hard to resist. This is one easy ice cream without the need for adding thickeners since the sweet potato has enough starch to do the job. The best part is you get to inhale the scents of caramelization while that sweet potato cooks in the oven.
Just remember to cool that sweet potato before you go to handle it, it also makes peeling the skin of much easier, the skin separates from the pulp naturally. You will probably get a lot more puree than you need to use for this ice cream. I usually save the rest in an air tight container, refrigerate for later use.
You don’t have to do this, it is completely optional but I like to drizzle a little honey over the ice cream just before serving, since honey as you know, is one of my many true loves!
sweet potato ice cream
yields: 6-8 servings
1 large sweet potato
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
extra honey for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and scrub the skin of the sweet potato and prick it a couple of times with the prongs of a fork. Place the sweet potato on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the sweet potato is tender. Remove from oven and keep aside to cool.
2. Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel and discard the outer skin. Transfer the pulp to a food processor and puree until smooth.
3. In a large thick bottom saucepan, add the sugar, nutmeg, milk, heavy cream, and honey and bring it to a boil on a medium flame. Remove the saucepan from the stove and gently whisk in 1 cup of the pureed sweet potato and whisk to mix. Place the saucepan back on the stove on a medium low flame and cook with constant stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil once again, reduce the flame to low and cook with constant stirring for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken like a custard. Remove the saucepan from the stove and transfer the contents to a clean 1 gallon ziploc bag, seal and place in an ice-water bath for 30 minutes.
4. After chilling, pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream make. Churn until the ice cream no longer sticks to the sides of the canister and it does not freeze anymore, this should take about 30 minutes (Alternatively, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker).
5. Layer the frozen ice cream into a freezer-safe storage container with an airtight lid Cover the surface with a sheet of parchment paper and press firmly against the surface to remove any trapped air bubbles. Place the lid on the container and freeze until firm or at least 4 hours before serving. You can drizzle some extra honey over each scoop before serving.