Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding
There are two secrets to this silky, not-too-sweet pudding, a Jamaican holiday staple from Hazel Craig, the mother of the pastry chef Jessica Craig: Freshly grated nutmeg provides the warm, toasty flavor and batatas (white-fleshed sweet potatoes) give the dish its dense, starchy texture. The combination of sweet potato and coconut is decadent, but not overly so — like a poundcake merged with a cheesecake.
- Serves: 20 persons
- Softened butter or cooking spray, for greasing the pan
- 2 ¼pounds/1 kilogram mix of batatas (white sweet potatoes) and yellow Jamaican yams or other yams
- 1 ⅔cups fresh coconut milk or 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- 2cups raisins/290 grams (optional)
- 2cups/400 grams granulated sugar
- 1cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
- 2teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 2teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch baking pan by brushing it with softened butter or coating it generously with cooking spray.
Step 2Peel the sweet potatoes and yams and chop them into 1-inch pieces. In a blender, working in batches, purée the batatas and yams with the coconut milk until smooth, adding 1 1/3 cups water when blending to get a smooth mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Step 3If using the raisins, soak them in warm water until plump, about 5 minutes. Strain well.
Step 4Add the sugar, flour, nutmeg, vanilla and salt to the sweet potato mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until combined and no lumps remain.
Step 5Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the pudding is caramelized on top, set at the edges and slightly wobbly in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. (Sprinkle with the raisins halfway through baking, if using.) Let cool.
Step 6Cut the pudding into 20 pieces and serve at room temperature.