Indian Pudding


Unless you are from New England (as I am) you have probably never heard of Indian Pudding. It traces its origin back to the 17th century. Indian pudding uses cornmeal, which was abundant to early settlers in New England, while wheat was not. “Indian meal” was what settlers called cornmeal.  Molasses, was a readily available, inexpensive sweetener during Boston’s rum trade in the 17th and 18th centuries (Molasses is a by-product of distilling sugar into rum). It is not really pretty but it is comfort food in a bowl. This recipe is adapted from Yankee Magazine circa 1978. It omits a water bath and cooks at a higher temperature.


  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing


Heat oven to 325°. In a small pan, scald milk. Whisk in molasses and cornmeal, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine egg, sugar, salt, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into cornmeal/milk mixture. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole. Bake 30 minutes. Add milk and butter. Continue baking about 1 hour. Serve warm with ice cream.


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