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Indian Pudding

indian pudding

Living in Plymouth, Massachusetts with Pilgrim history all around us, we take our Thanksgiving preparations pretty seriously – and this recipe for Indian pudding is a traditional New England Thanksgiving classic.  Indian pudding is made primarily with milk, corn meal, molasses and spices.  Although perhaps not the most elegant-looking dessert, don’t judge this book by its cover.  Indian pudding is one of the most delicious desserts around, particularly when served with vanilla ice cream.

indian pudding

According to Yankee Magazine: “The history behind Indian pudding dates back to early colonists who brought with them a fondness for British “hasty pudding,” a dish made by boiling wheat flour in water or milk until it thickened into porridge. Since wheat flour was scarce in the New World, settlers adapted by using native cornmeal, dubbed “Indian flour,” and flavoring the resulting mush to be either sweet (with maple syrup or molasses) or savory (with drippings or salted meat). In time, the dish evolved into one that was resoundingly sweet, with lots of molasses and additional ingredients such as butter, cinnamon, ginger, eggs, and sometimes even raisins or nuts. Recipes for Indian pudding began appearing in cookery books in the late 1700s.”

Original history according to Yankee Magazine and recipe we’ve adapted can be found here. 

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Indian Pudding

indian pudding
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon dry ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter to grease the pan
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional but highly recommended)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a 6 quart pot, heat milk to hot, do not boil. Slowly add in corn meal and whisk continually until all of the corn meal is added. Cook for 10 minutes on a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Be careful that it does not stick and burn to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and add all other ingredients except the beaten eggs. Mix to combine.
  5. Temper the eggs by slowly adding some of the hot pudding a little at a time to the eggs, stirring as you go (about a cup total). Then add the egg mixture to the pot and stir.
  6. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and place the casserole dish in a water bath. Bake for about one hour and 30 minutes. Pudding should be set up and somewhat firm. If the center is a bit loose, that is OK.
  7. Let the pudding rest for 15 minutes, then serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Notes

The Water Bath just needs to be a pan larger than the casserole dish filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the outside of the casserole dish. Some people do not use the water bath for this recipe and instead bake it directly in the oven. We think Indian Pudding comes out creamier with the water bath but either baking method can be used. Cooking time may be a bit shorter without the water bath.

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  1. My mouth is literally watering! This dessert is right up my taste buds alley and I’d have to have it warm, of course!

  2. Too late for this Thanksgiving but my I´ll include it in my X-mas menu ; )
    Happy Thanksgiving

  3. I just found you on RecipeNewz! And by looking at your recipes over there, I can tell we have similar taste in food! This recipe sounds like something I would love! I love that fact that it’s so unique! great post! I’m your newest follower!

  4. Hi! Have you ever added fresh pumpkin puree to this recipe?

  5. Richard McGarry :

    Excellent selection of recipes for anytime of the year. Looking and reading about them inspires ones imagination to ex l erimemt for ecample. Adding prepared pumpkin to the Indian Pudding with whole oe as on top and adorned with whole cranberry relish and whipped cream or ice cream. I’m loving these.

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