Indian Pudding || Lost and Found

Indian Pudding || Lost and Found

Get out your feather duster because this recipe has been lost and collecting dust for a few centuries. Now that it has been found, Indian Pudding is one recipe that I certainly hope you will be adding to your Thanksgiving menu. This traditional New England dessert can be traced back to the 1600s. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but long story short, English colonists brought Indian pudding to North America, and the indigenous people helped them transform it using native ingredients and cooking techniques.

Indian Pudding is also known as hasty pudding. You might find this name a little misleading because when something cooks for two hours, I am reluctant to call it “hasty.” I know two hours feels like way too long, but as it cooks as slow as molasses (its main ingredient) the smell of Thanksgiving will delightfully fill your house. The bake time is high, but the effort level is low. Tasting almost like a modified pumpkin pie, Indian Pudding is best served warm with ice cream. But it is just as silky and delicious served cold.

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The Native Americans taught the English colonists to use cornmeal instead of flour, milk instead of water, and to add molasses for sweetness. My addition is to add homemade or store bought granola for a crunch factor and even more flavor. While I am thankful to have “lost” the 17th century expectation of wearing petticoats, and, for the love of God, a corset during the holiday season of indulgence, I am thrilled that we can now consider the 17th century Indian Pudding “found.” With or without ice cream and granola, Indian Pudding is sure to become a Thanksgiving favorite once again!

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Indian Pudding

Indian Pudding dates back to the 1600s and tastes just like an old-fashioned Thanksgiving. This lost recipe should find its way to your holiday menu this year!

Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 c milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/2 c yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • vanilla ice cream (optional)
  • granola (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275. Scald 2 1/2 c milk in heavy saucepan. 

  2. Meanwhile, place remaining 1/2 c milk in small bowl and gradually whisk in cornmeal. Whisk cornmeal mixture into hot milk. Bring to a boil and boil gently over low heat, whisking frequently until thickened - about 15 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in molasses, sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.

  4. Beat egg in a small bowl. Stir in a little of the hot cornmeal mixture and whisk mixture back into saucepan. 

  5. Pour mixture into 6 lightly oiled 1-cup ramekins and place on a baking sheet. OR pour into a slightly oiled round cake pan.

  6. Bake at 275 until centers are set. 1-1 1/2 hours for ramekins. Cake pan takes closer to 2 hours. Check often after one hour. Cool the pudding slightly. Serve warm topped with ice cream. Granola adds a really great flavor and texture to the pudding.

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