What’s For Dinner?
Barleywine Sweet Potato Flan
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
“This recipe is great in the fall when we have such great local, organic sweet potatoes,” says David Larkworthy, Five Seasons Brewing Co. chef. Working closely with brewer Crawford Moran, Larkworthy often incorporates beer into his recipes. In this case, it’s a strong ale called barleywine, which he likes for its great balance of sweetness and bitterness and intense caramel flavors from roasted malts. Of course, flan is also known for its sweetness and caramel flavors. Pair with a vintage barleywine or dark, rich imperial stout.
This dessert isn’t the eggy custard that many people associate with flan. It has more of a pie-filling texture but is served like a flan with a caramel sauce. Microwaving the potatoes saves a lot of time, but you can also bake them. -- Bob Townsend, for the Journal-Constitution
Hands on time: 25 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes Serves: 6
1 teaspoon butter
2 medium sweet potatoes, preferably organic
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup (5 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup (2 ounces) barleywine
1 small pinch lemon zest
1 small pinch orange zest
1 small pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch kosher salt
Cook, cool and peel potatoes. Pass the flesh through a strainer to remove any strings . You should have 1 cup of puree. Place the sweet potato puree in a bowl. Mix in the egg, stirring well to combine. Add the condensed milk and barleywine. Add lemon and orange zests and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and water, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring frequently with a high-heat spatula or whisk, for 10 to 15 minutes, until it turns a reddish, nearly mahogany, color. Watch carefully; once the mixture starts to color, it will deepen quickly. Add kosher salt. Pour into the buttered pan in an even layer. Be careful, it will be very hot. Top with the sweet potato mixture, smooth the top and place in a baking pan large enough to fit the baking dish. Fill the baking pan with water until it comes up to about 1/4 to 1/2 of the baking dish.
Bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the flan to ensure even baking. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just set and no longer make waves like a liquid. Carefully remove from water bath (using oven mitts being careful not to get water on the flan). Cool to room temperature.
To serve, place a plate on top of the flan pan. Carefully and quickly flip the pan upside down so the flan is on the plate with the caramel sauce around it. Don’t be concerned if some of the sauce sticks to the pan.