This British-inspired side dish is a staple of host Naomi Lewin's Thanksgiving feast. She explains:
"The year before I started graduate school, some friends of mine were sharing an apartment and cooking vegetarian meals together. Even though I wasn't living with them, I was invited to have dinner with them once a week, and then tag along for their shopping trip to the local food co-op.
"I was just back from living in Germany, which is where I first had to cook for myself (there are still some cooking terms I think of in German), and this was the first time in my adult life that I was let loose on a whole collection of cookbooks in English, and that's where I found the recipe.
"Over the years, I've 'improved' it; now, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving for my family without it. Last year, one of my nieces, who has become a gourmet chef, wanted to do away with Nottingham Yam Pudding in favor of another recipe. She was voted down. Or rather, she was allowed to make her recipe, but only if I made mine, too."
10 medium sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled, & mashed (I cheat and use 2 large cans of sweet potatoes or yams)
2/3 cup butter
1½ cups light brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
½ - 3/4 cups sherry
1½ - 2 tsp. nutmeg
¼ - ½ tsp. mace
salt to taste
(optional ½ tsp. cinnamon - I think I usually throw it in)
Cream butter and sugar; add egg yolks, sweet potatoes, sherry, and spices.
Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold into the sweet potatoes.
Pour into a buttered casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1½ hours (until it looks set).