Sunday, November 13, 2011

Indian Pudding for National Indian Pudding Day

Celebration Food: National Indian Pudding Day is celebrated every November 13th. They say Indian Pudding is a traditional New England Thanksgiving classic. Indian pudding is a baked custard with milk, butter, molasses, eggs, spices, and cornmeal. I'm guessing the name is likely derived from the cornmeal, known as indian meal way back when. 

indian pudding
Originally uploaded by leuwam
What is Indian Pudding?
Indian pudding is a more elaborate form of corn hasty pudding. It consists of milk, cornmeal, and molasses, (or, alternatively, maple syrup and honey, and sometimes sugar), spices (nearly always including cinnamon and ground ginger), butter, and usually raisins and nuts, baked in a slow oven for several hours. It is a traditional New England dessert.

Well what is Hasty Pudding then?
Hasty pudding is a pudding or porridge of grains cooked in milk or water. In the United States, it invariably refers to a version made of ground corn. Hasty pudding is notably mentioned in a verse of the early American song Yankee Doodle.

British Hasty Pudding
Since the 16th century at least, hasty pudding has been a British dish of wheat flour cooked in either boiling milk or water until it reaches the consistency of a thick batter or an oatmeal porridge. Hasty pudding was used as a term for the latter by Hannah Glasse in The Art of Cookery (1747).

Hasty pudding in North America

Extant North America recipes include wheat, oat, and corn-based puddings.
  • Eliza Leslie's recipes

Eliza Leslie, an influential American cookbook author of the early 19th century, includes a recipe for flour hasty pudding in her 1840 Directions for Cookery, In Its Various Branches, and calls the corn type "Indian mush" (she calls an oatmeal version burgoo). She stresses the need for slow cooking rather than haste, and also recommends the use of a special mush-stick for stirring to prevent lumps. (This mush-stick is perhaps related to the spurtle, or the pudding stick of the nursery rhyme beating.)
  • Corn or Indian mush

A North American version, known as corn mush or Indian mush, is in its simplest form corn meal cooked slowly in water until it thickens. Like grits or polenta, it may be eaten hot, or left to cool and solidify, when slices of the cold pudding may then be fried. This hasty pudding was once a popular American food because of its low cost, long shelf life, and versatility, and was eaten with both sweet and savory accompaniments, such as maple syrup, molasses, or salted meat.
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Indian Pudding Recipe


4 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
  2. Scald 3 1/2 cups of milk in top of double boiler over direct heat. Remove milk from heat.
  3. Mix cornmeal with remaining 1 cup of milk, and stir this mixture into the scalding milk, stirring constantly. Place the milk mixture into the top of the double boiler and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir butter, molasses, salt, sugar and cinnamon into the mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) oven for 1 1/2 hours.
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~~louise~~ said...

What a GREAT post, Pam!!! I'm so sorry I missed it yesterday. Would you mind if I included it with the post I did for Indian Pudding Day? Yours gets right to the heart of it.

Thank you so much for sharing...

P.S. I better subscribe to your posts so this never happens again!!!

Emily Malloy said...

Yummmm! This looks so delicious!


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