Monday, August 1, 2011

Purple Haze Custard

Big BIG thanks to Nom Nom Paleo for helping me come up with a name for this because Purple Sweet Potato, Pandan, and Coconut Custard is quite a mouthful (and it takes too long to type it out dammit!).

But what the heck is pandan?  Pandan is a plant (commonly found in SE Asia) and its leaves are often used for adding that certain something-something to your dishes, particularly in desserts.  It's fragrant without smelling too floral-y and it also adds a certain sweetness without being too sweet.  Check out more info about this awesome plant by clicking here.  I'm told that you can find these at Asian markets but is often packaged under its Vietnamese name "lá dứa".  Worst case scenario:  buy the extract here.  But beware though, the extracts usually contain artificial food coloring and a bunch of other stuff.

If you are interested in buying the plant itself (here in the North American continent), I'm told that you can buy these at flea markets frequented by a lot of SE Asians (Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, etc etc etc) or you can contact Paula over at Gardino Nursery.  Gardino is the ONLY nursery on this entire friggin' continent that sells this plant.  If you are ordering this plant from Gardino, be prepared to wait:  the wait-list is several months long!

Here's a little side-note:  just like Bo Bo Cha Cha, this dish is 100% Paleo and is also Whole30-compliant.  Who says you can't have a little dessert on your Whole30???  Enjoy!

What you'll need:
-  2 12oz packets of Hawaiian Sun frozen coconut milk, thawed

-  1 cup purple sweet potato, cut into 1in cubes

-  2 pandan leaves, thoroughly rinsed

-  2 heaping tbsp coconut oil

1.  Combine coconut milk, sweet potato, and pandan leaves (sliced thinly right before adding) into saucepot.

2.  Gently mix until everything is combined over medium heat.  When milk starts to bubble, turn heat down to LOW and simmer until sweet potato is thoroughly softened.

It is going to be tempting to want to stir this every 5 - 10 minutes but try to refrain from stirring too much.  In my case, I let this simmer on low heat for about 4 hours and I stirred the contents 2 - 3 times.  I'm not sure if it's true or not, but a food tidbit passed down from my maternal family says that fresh coconut foodstuffs (in this case, it would be fresh coconut milk) is sensitive to over-stirring.  True or not true, it really is unnecessary for you to hover like a hawk over this and stir unnecessarily.

3.  Remove pot from heat.  Remove pandan leaves and discard.

4.  Blend everything together in food processor or blender until smooth.

5.  Pour into serving glasses.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight to firm.  Enjoy!!!

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