'Tis the season, my friends! It's Fall! 'Tis the season of crisp cool mornings and chilly afternoons. 'Tis the season of sweaters and scarves. And 'tis the season of steaming mugs of beverages that make you feel all warm and toasty from head to toe. Or as my kiddies like to call it, 'tis the season of Atole! Nothing says fall to me like a big cup of creamy atole. Especially Atole de Camote (Sweet Potato Atole) sweetened with piloncillo. (Sigh!)
I stumbled upon my recipe for Atole de Camote quite by accident a couple of years ago. I was craving my Pumpkin Pie Atole, but all I had on hand that was even close to pumpkin were some leftover Camotes Enmielados (Mexican candied sweet potatoes). So, I improvised.
Most atoles are thickend with cornstarch, but like my Pumpkin Pie Atole, the sweet potato alone was enough to thicken the atole. But still I longed for something a little richer. So, I added a little cornstarch. But it still wasn't quite right. So, I decided to thicken my Atole de Camote with a little masa harina (the ground corn flour used to make corn tortillas and tamales) instead. Now it was absolutely perfect. The texture reminds me of Champurrado, a thick Mexican chocolate atole. And the flavor is amazing! The combination of sweet potatoes and piloncillo tastes like fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled into one.
Atole de Camote
(Sweet Potato Atole)
- 5 cups milk
- 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
- 1 cup Piloncillo or light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup masa harina (I use Maseca)
- Puree 4 cups of the milk with the sweet potato puree in a blender until smooth. If you're blender cup is too small, you can blend it in batches.
- Pour the milk and sweet potato mixture into a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the chopped piloncillo and cook over medium heat until warm and the piloncillo has completely melted. (Important note: Whenever working with piloncillo, DO NOT place piloncillo cones in a blender or food processor! Unless you want to buy a new one. I find it's easier to just chop/shave the piloncillo cones with a sharp kitchen knife.)
- Puree the remaining cup of milk with the masa harina in a blender until smooth. Pour into the sweet potato atole. Continue to heat until very warm and the atole has thickened slightly. If you prefer a thinner atole, you can omit this step.
- Ladle into mugs. Enjoy!!!