Indian Pudding is an old fashioned recipe traditionally served on Thanksgiving. It dates back to the Colonial times where colonists tried to recreate their familiar English puddings. English puddings were typically "hasty puddings" made with grains, wheat flour or oatmeal, boiled with milk and fortified with eggs and cream. The Indian Pudding is the New England version of pudding made with cornmeal - (thanks to the Indians of that era). To sweeten the pudding, New Englanders used molasses and possibly raisins. (Shakers replace the molasses with maple syrup).
As a child, I remember thinking that Indian Pudding was a special flavor creamy pudding - like vanilla or chocolate, only called Indian in honor of Thanksgiving. I remember as a child, ordering it for dessert at the Homestead Restaurant and being sorely disappointed. But, luckily, tastes change and I have grown to really like English puddings. This year, Dad made an Indian pudding and it was nothing short of spectacular! Interestingly, he modified the recipe, using buttermilk instead of cream.
Dad's version was delicious.
I didn't get any pictures of it on Thanksgiving, so I went back to the resto to take some pictures. While I was there, I spooned some into a dish and photographed that as well. It looked so good, I couldn't resist and finished it off - cold from the fridge. Dad suggested heating it up to bring out the flavors. I can tell you, it was delicious ice cold! To me, the name Indian Pudding is misleading -- more like a Indian Spice cake that is moist and hearty.
Dad shared the recipe with me and I am sharing it with you. Dad found the recipe at PaulParent.com a Radio Host for gardening. But, I like Dad's recipe with his modifications. - Many people recommend serving it with a dollop of thick cream, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. All good ideas.
Dad's Indian Pudding Recipe
5 cups buttermilk
6 oz cornmeal
12 oz molasses
3 eggs, beaten in a medium heat safe bowl
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups buttermilk - cold
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a heavy pot, heat the 5 cups buttermilk, corn meal and molasses. Stir mixture constantly and bring to a boil. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens. Pour 1 - 2 cups of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs and stir. Combine back with mixture in the pan. Add sugar, spices and melted butter. Stir and then pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Add remaining 2 cups of buttermilk and bake again for 1 1/2 hours. Cover with foil to keep warm and serve with your choice of cream - cold, ice or whipped.