Purple Sweet Potato Mont Blanc Pudding
Makes 6 servings
For the purple sweet potato puree:
10 ounce piece purple sweet potato, peeled
1 vanilla bean
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
7 tablespoons butter
For the vanilla pudding:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Make the purple sweet potato puree:
1. Cut the purple sweet potato into large chunks. Put the pieces in a medium saucepan with the vanilla bean, and add enough water to cover the potato pieces. Cook the sweet potato over medium heat until soft, then drain the water and discard the vanilla bean.
2. While the sweet potato is cooling, mix the 3/4 cup water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 30 seconds, then remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
3. Mash the cooked sweet potato pieces with the butter, then add enough sugar syrup to the mash to make it thin enough to pipe through a pastry bag, but thick enough to hold its shape.
Make the vanilla pudding:
1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of the cold milk and whisk until smooth, then slowly add the rest of the milk and the heavy cream, whisking to incorporate. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
2. Pour the pudding into 6 individual custard cups and chill until the pudding has set, at least 2 hours.
Make the whipped cream:
Whip the cream and powdered sugar together in a medium-size mixing bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form, but the cream is still smooth.
Assemble the Mont Blanc puddings:
Remove the chilled pudding from the refrigerator. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the top of each pudding. Pipe the purple sweet puree in a mound over the top of the whipped cream.
Making the puddings in advance: The finished puddings can be chilled overnight, but the sweet potato puree will firm up to have a fudgier consistency. If you want to make this dessert in advance, my advice is to make the pudding and purple sweet potato puree in advance, but wait to assemble the dessert until close to serving time. You will need to lightly heat the puree to make it soft enough to pipe onto the puddings.
For a lighter version, use all milk in the pudding instead of using the cream. I went for rich and creamy with my pudding, but a lighter version will be just as delicious!
For a non-dairy version, replace the milk and cream in the pudding with soy or almond milk and a use a non-dairy whipped cream for the whipped cream layer.