Saturday, November 18, 2023

Thanksgiving Specials: Sweet Potato Flan

Sweet Potato Flan by Nibbles and Feasts

Every year, I look for new recipes with Latin twists to try during the holidays. This year, I'm excited about this sweet potato flan recipe from Ericka at!

Sweet Potato Flan by Nibbles and Feasts

There are two things I like about this recipe. First, it can be made in advance. If you are like me, then Thanksgiving morning is a crazy day in the kitchen. This flan can be made a day or two in advance and kept in the fridge.

Second, you can sub canned sweet potatoes rather than cook them if you are pressed for time.

Ericka walks you through the recipe over here on her blog. So go print off the recipe and try something new this year!

What is Flan?

If you aren't familiar with flan, the best way I can describe it is that it's a luscious caramel-crowned custard. And its history as rich and diverse as its decadent flavor. 

This dessert's roots can be traced back to the Roman Empire, where a dish called "tyropatinam" made with honey and milk served as a precursor to the modern flan. The concept traveled through medieval Europe and the Middle East, evolving into various custard-based sweets. 

However, it wasn't until the spread of Moorish influence in Spain that the dish truly transformed into what we recognize as flan today. The Moors introduced the use of caramelized sugar, a key component that imparts the signature golden hue and rich taste to flan.

A typical flan dessert

Flan in the Americas

As explorers and settlers ventured to the Americas, they brought this sweet tradition with them. In Latin America, flan became a canvas for creative adaptations, blending indigenous ingredients with European culinary techniques. In fact, the dessert took on regional nuances, incorporating local flavors and textures. 

Today, flan holds a cherished place in the hearts and tables of countless cultures, showcasing the global fusion of culinary influences. Whether served plain, infused with unique flavors, or paired with regional twists like sweet potato, flan continues to be a timeless and beloved treat that transcends borders and centuries.

Exploring Thanksgiving Flavors in Flan

While sweet potato flan is a delightful departure from the traditional pumpkin pie, there are even more Thanksgiving flavors to experiment with in this classic Latin American dessert.

Consider infusing your flan with the warm, aromatic essence of cinnamon and nutmeg for a holiday spice kick. Alternatively, try incorporating the rich, toasty notes of pecans or walnuts to add a satisfying crunch. For a citrusy twist, consider infusing the custard with orange or lime zest, providing a refreshing contrast to the sweet potato base.

These creative variations not only pay homage to Latin culinary traditions but also offer a unique and delicious spin on the classic flan, making your Thanksgiving celebration a truly memorable one.

More Latin-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

This post is part of a series of Thanksgiving Day recipes with a cultural twist shared each year during Thanksgiving week here on MommyMaestra.

To view other delicious recipes, follow our Thanksgiving Break Specials.


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