For those cooks who can’t manage a home-made pie crust, even with the encouragement of King Arthur, there is a delicious, easy, and traditional alternative–Indian Pudding.
Named for the cornmeal that English settlers found native-Americans using, an Indian pudding combines a new world ingredient with an old world cooking style.
It also an intriguing dessert–hot dark pudding against cold vanilla ice cream–it’s Zen on a plate. The earthy mix of molasses, milk, and cornmeal is a surprisingly sophisticated flavor and far cry from insipid sweet goo of supermarket apple pie.
This version is scaled down from the massive quantities steamed up at Durgin Park, but best of all–no pie crust required!
Indian Pudding at Home
4 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, vanilla ice cream
- Scald two cups of the milk in an 8-inch skillet and slowly pour in the cornmeal, stirring to break up the lumps. Simmer over low heat until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside until it’s warm.
- Stir in the molasses, sugar, salt, egg, and one half cup of the remaining milk. Cover the skillet and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring in a half cup of milk every half hour. The pudding should be thick but no solid.
- Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.