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Vanilla Yam Puree With Autumn Spice Oil

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“Found this lovely sounding recipe online a few days ago which means I haven't tested it yet. For myself, I will substitute yams for the original sweet potatoes. Call it glorified baby food and you won't hurt my feelings. Note that the spice oil needs to be prepared twenty four hours in advance. From Artisanal Cooking by Terrance Brennan. Reminder: marshmallows have no business in this recipe.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. AUTUMN SPICE OIL: (To be prepared 24 hours in advance.) In an 8-inch sautè pan, place the star anise, juniper berries, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon and cloves. Toast over medium heat until fragrant about 4-5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Remove from pan and cool.
  2. Transfer the spices to a clean, dry coffee mill and pulse for about 5 seconds. Next, transfer the ground spices to a bowl and add the vanilla bean and orange peel. Set aside.
  3. Heat up the oil in a small pot over medium-low heat just until warm. Pour the warm oil over the spices and vanilla. Cover and infuse at room temperature for 24 hours. If you think about it, give the mixture a few stirs every once in awhile.
  4. Once infusion is complete, you can, if you wish, strain the spice oil through a metal strainer or piece of cheesecloth. It depends on how well you ground the spices.
  5. The spice oil can be left at room temperature -covered, for up to 2 weeks. Or, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Yield: 1 cup.
  6. YAM PUREE: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the yams on a baking sheet and bake until fork tender; about 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, peel skin and discard.
  8. Place the peeled yams in a food processor or large mixing bowl.
  9. Pour the cream into a 2-quart size pot. Add the vanilla bean and orange zest. Cook on medium heat until warm, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard vanilla bean.
  10. Pour the cream mixture over the yams and add the butter.
  11. Puree the yam mixture until smooth. (Or, use an electric mixer to puree the yams.) Season with salt; and pepper of choice. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  12. To serve the yams, place the oil in a plastic "squeeze" bottle, shake well then lightly drizzle some oil over each serving.

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