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Sweet Potato Flan, Buttermilk Granita, and Clove Gastrique
Chef Daryl Nash of Otom – Chicago, IL
Adapted by
November 2007

Yield: 6 Servings


    Sweet Potato Flan: Sweet Potato Flan by Chefs Daryl Nash on
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

    Buttermilk Granita:
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

    Clove Gastrique:
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 whole cloves

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped and roasted


For the Sweet Potato Flan:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the sweet potato in the oil and spread on a lined sheet tray. Roast until golden brown and soft. Allow to cool before pureeing in a food processor. Remove all the pulp and measure ½ cup of packed puree. Add that back to the food processor and puree with the condensed milk until smooth. Gradually add the milk and eggs until combined. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and allspice and combine again. Pour the custard into a container and allow to set for 1 hour, skimming the white starch as it floats to the top.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a saucepan combine 1Tablespoon of the granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of water. Bring to a simmer over low heat until the sugar is caramelized; add the remaining sugar to the pot 1 Tablespoon at a time, waiting for caramelization each time before adding another spoonful and scraping the sides of the pot with a rubber spatula constantly. After the sugar is fully caramelized, evenly distribute the caramel into ramekins and swirl to evenly coat the bottom. Allow to cool. Evenly distribute the custard into the ramekins and place in a baking pan with high sides. Bake in a water bath ¾ of the way up the sides of the ramekins for 1 ½ hours or until the centers are set.  Cool and refrigerate overnight. 

For the Buttermilk Granita:
Combine all ingredients in a metal pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place pan in freezer and stir with a rubber spatula every 20 minutes until frozen. Freeze until completely solid then scrape with a spoon to form solid flakes.

For the Clove Gastrique:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and reduce over low heat to a syrup consistency.  Strain and cool.

To Assemble and Serve:
Run a small pastry knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen, then invert each onto a plate. The flan should fall out easily. Sauce each plate with 2 Tablespoons of Clove Gastrique. Heap ½ cup of shaved Buttermilk Granita onto the edge of each flan and garnish with chopped pecans. 


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