With Spring finally making an appearance, I couldn't help but think of what kinds of things I want to be making as the weather warms up.....and, gee, how could I incorporate a sweet potato into it? Ice cream immediately came to mind. I've had pumpkin ice cream before, always near the beginning of Fall, but would a sweet potato work? Yes, as a matter of fact!
When I was a child, my best friend's father was a milkman. Not only was he a milkman, but he also owned and operated a restaurant, right on Main Street, across from my own father's bakery. This was one of those fabulous small town restaurants that had an authentic soda fountain. The best part was that they served ice cream that was made right on the premises. Oh, how I remember watching as the fresh ice cream came out of the machine....and we always got to have the first taste. I was forever after a big ice cream fan.
Nowadays, we get to make our own ice cream at home with one of those modern little ice cream makers. It makes the job a real cinch and the great thing about it is that you can come up with any flavor your heart desires. Let me show you how I made my concoction.
Sweet Potato Ice Cream
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder)
Combine the egg yolks, egg, maple syrup, and sugar in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat until the mixture is thick, smooth, and pale yellow in color, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Combine the heavy cream and the milk in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk/cream mixture, whisking to combine. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to simmer. Cook for an additional two minutes, or until the custard coats the back of a spoon, being careful not to let the mixture come to a full boil (or the eggs will curdle, trust me).
In a medium bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with the ginger, the orange peel and the orange juice. Pour the custard over the sweet potato mixture and stir to combine. Chill for at least two hours.
Do you see a theme with my sweet potato creations? I love the combination of orange and sweet potatoes. It makes the flavors so Spring-like!
Pour the sweet potato custard into the ice cream maker and churn per the manufacturer's directions. With my machine, it was ready in about 30 minutes.
The finished ice cream will be fairly soft. If you prefer the ice cream to be harder, place it in an airtight container and freeze it for a few hours. I happen to like it a little softer---it seems creamier and more flavorful. I found it too hard not to scoop some into a chocolate rimmed cone and slurp it down immediately!
It was even better with some chocolate covered sunflower seeds! Now imagine it in a profiterole with some chocolate syrup......too bad I didn't have the time....
This stuff is good just by itself, but it's fun to imagine all of the possibilities....