Indian Pudding is a warm baked custard that uses native cornmeal, milk, molasses, and cinnamon. Some recipes call for raisins as well. It’s a delicious, cozy dessert—and a great alternative to pies for the holidays! Make in advance and just reheat, topping with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The origin of Indian Pudding dates back to the 1700s and is essentially a version of British “Hasty Pudding” (which was made by boiling wheat flour in water or milk until it thickened into a pudding) but in the New World, native corn was the grain of choice and it substituted wheat in this recipe. The Native Americans made cornmeal which early settlers referred to as “Indian flour.”
4 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 1½-quart casserole dish.
Bring 2 cups of milk to a simmer in a double boiler over high heat.
Slowly combine cornmeal to the milk. Cook for about 15 minutes, whisking frequently, until the cornmeal is smooth.
Slowly add the molasses, then remove from heat. Add brown sugar, butter, eggs, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then stir until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the greased casserole dish, then pour the remaining 2 cups of cold milk over the top.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the pudding is firm and the top is browned.