Thanksgiving hasn’t quite caught on here in the UK – although I’m not sure why because we seem to celebrate every other festival! This easy recipe is dedicated to American readers and my American ex-pat friends in the UK. You can adjust the amount of spices according to taste. Serves 6.
2 oz/ 50g desiccated coconut
½ lb/ 225g light brown sugar
2 medium tins evaporated milk
3 oz/ 75g self-raising flour
2 oz/ 50g unsalted butter, softened
4 oz/ 100g golden sultanas
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice berries, freshly crushed in a mortar
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 ½ lb/ 675g sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
2 oz/ 50g flaked almonds (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 190 C/ 375 F/ gas mark 5.
2. Soak the coconut in a few tablespoons of hot water for at least half hour, then drain on kitchen paper. This will ensure that the coconut is soft in texture rather than coarse.
3. Beat the eggs thoroughly. Add the sugar, and beat well again. Add the evaporated milk, and continue beating well until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Add the flour, butter and sultanas, and mix thoroughly.
5. Add the spices, vanilla extract, grated sweet potatoes, and the drained desiccated coconut. Once again, mix thoroughly.
6. Pile into a buttered baking dish, and even the top surface with the back of a palette knife. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown. During the last 10 minutes of cooking time, sprinkle with flaked almonds, if using.
7. Cut into squares or wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature with thick cream, custard, ice cream, or a portion of tropical fruit salad. The pudding also tastes delicious all on its own.