indian pudding . . .

by mulberryshoots


Well, it turns out that the homemade slightly runny meyer lemon meringue pie was G.’s brother, Jim’s, favorite dessert. Today, I mentally went through my dessert rolodex from the past and remembered that one of G’s favorites was indian pudding. I don’t make it too often because it takes a long time to cook (90 minutes after stirring stovetop for 15 minutes.)

Plus, I wasn’t sure if I had all the ingredients on hand. (It’s usually a test of the pantry when it gets to be 4 p.m. and I’m scrounging around for something nice to make for either supper or dessert!) I wasn’t sure whether I had yellow corn meal but I came across some blue corn meal – which I put aside when I came upon some corn grits polenta. That should be okay, I thought. Then I didn’t have enough milk for the halved recipe but thankfully found some light cream after stirring the mixture that made the pudding more like it was meant to be. So here’s the recipe I used –

Indian Pudding:

Combine in a non-stick pot, 2 1/4 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of dark molasses, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Cook it over low-medium heat for 15 minutes (that’s right!) stirring it constantly so it doesn’t stick. Towards the end of that time, add 1/4 stick of unsalted butter and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir until everything is thickened. This is also when I added in about a half cup of light cream because I only had about 1 3/4 cup of milk to begin with.

I buttered a low fluted white porcelain dish and folded the thickened pudding into it. I also took a pan that would hold the dish and filled it halfway with water. This would make a bain marie to cook the pudding. The recipe didn’t call for it but I didn’t think it would hurt.  It’s now baking in a 325 preheated oven for 90 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream. Nice to reheat the pudding in the microwave so it is slightly warm before serving if it cools completely.

For dinner, I’m using the left over Ciabetta bread in the fridge which I’ve refreshed with a little spring water and warming the bread cubes in the oven before dipping them into a gruyere/swiss cheese fondue tonight for supper. Maybe I’ll make a small spinach salad with avocado and navel orange segments on the side.

I think I’m going to wait to spring the indian pudding dessert on G. not until after he’s returned from next door, helping his mother to retire for the evening – a daily ritual.

BTW, I tasted the thickened pudding bits after I filled the fluted baking dish with the bulk of it. They tasted divine!  Can’t wait to see how it is when it’s finished baking.

Postscript: This Indian pudding (which does turn out to be my husband’s favorite dessert) had a texture closer to a cake than a pudding. I think that this was due to using corn grits polenta (which is all I had on hand) rather than regular cornmeal plus perhaps not enough milk might have accounted for this.

If you want to try it yourself, either use this recipe, please note these changes in milk and cornmeal. It might be more like an indian pudding than my little corncake. With freshly whipped cream on it, it was very tasty.