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There are varieties of this recipe… a little more of this, less of that but it is something once you’ve had it, becomes a fall classic. Be sure to check the date on the box of corn meal you are using if you only use corn meal once in a while. Make it late @ the night before Thanksgiving and you’ll wake up a few hours later to the smell of molasses. If you are driving on Thursday turkey day, it will stay hot in its casserole dish when you take it out of the oven 5-6 hours later.
I first made this recipe about ten years ago, after seeing the dish on a Thanksgiving edition of Iron Chef. I’ve made it virtually every year since. It’s definitely a book not to be judged by its cover and has become one of my all-time favorites. To serve, I microwave it while toasting some crushed pecans or walnuts, and I top it with whipped cream, a dash of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a drizzle of molasses and some vanilla ice cream.
I haven’t made it yet, but before I do, I would like to know what type of molasses do you use?
Gerry, I think any commercial molasses will do. I’ve used Grandma’s and Brer Rabbit brands.
My grandmother from outside of Boston would make this for me in the early ‘60s. Still remains one of my favorite desserts.
My son and his best friend loved this!!!
I just watched a rerun of “Newhart”(Vermont) where Joanna made this yummy dish and it reminded me that I had forgotten about it ! I learned to make it on a visit to NH years ago and I’m excited to cook it up! Seems to be a New England favorite..too bad for the rest.
Two hours in the oven and still not set. Amount of cornmeal seems off – half cup?
Hi Cyndee, Indian pudding sort of has the consistency of hot cereal, like cream of wheat or oatmeal. It’s not supposed to set so much. The time in the oven is more to cook the various sugars to bring out more flavor.
I found your recipe about 7 years ago now, and I have made it many times. Every time it is consistently amazing, and perfect. I have one in the oven now with 21 minutes left to bake. So wonderful. Thank you for posting this!
This was easy to make, and delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I made it today for our second Thanksgiving Dinner. I also had my first Indian Pudding at Durgin Park!My Fannie Farmer cookbook has a similar recipe, but with ginger instead of nutmeg. I don’t know if I’ll try that, because this was pretty great.
What kind of flour? All purpose or self rising
It turned out well!Can you make this and freeze it before baking?
Hi, Kate! My gut instinct is that this recipe isn’t a good candidate for freezing. If you do end up trying it, let us know how it turns out!
I, remember as a kid growing up in Connecticut canned Indian pudding. This recipe is awesome. Also reminded me of the Indian pudding they serve at the “Student Prince” in Springfield, MA
I’m so glad you liked it Jenn! I wish it were a tradition in other parts of the country as well.
Indian Pudding is an old tyme (sic) New England desert. I grew up with it in the 40’s. I just found this site and recipe. It’s almost exactly how we made it back then. One difference though, we served it with chilled Hard Sauce rather than ice cream or whipped cream. Hard Sauce is nothing more than: confectioners sugar, butter, and a flavor to your liking. Some people like vanilla, I like brandy or maybe a almond essence. Melt the butter and stir in the sugar until it’s almost too stiff to stir, add the flavor and refrigerate.
A cold dollup of Hard Sauce on well warmed Indian Pudding and God can take me home.
I’m about to make my mothers version of Indian Pudding (or as I am calling it here in Berkeley, CA, Indigenous Peoples Pudding). This is the version I’ve been eating for fifty years:
1 Cup yellow corn meal
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 Cup butter
1/2 Cup black molasses (not bootstrap)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 quarts hot milk (6 cups)
Raisins in baked goods is sacrilege in my house.
David, I like your ingredient list. Is your method the same as this recipe’s?
My method is pretty simple:
1. Warm milk on stove or in microwave until hot.
2. Put all ingredients in a crock pot, stir well, and cook on low for 5 hours, stirring occasionally to break up lumps and crust.
3. Eat with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve made this with with both full-fat milk and non-fat, and while full fat milk gives it a richer taste it is not diminished with the non or low fat milk.
Is it possible to use lactose feee milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc? Thanks!!
Hi Christina, good question! I haven’t tried it with any of those substitutions but think it’s worth a try. I don’t see a reason for it not to work with lactose free milk or almond milk. Coconut milk might introduce too weird of a flavor.
Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll let you know how it comes ou if I end up doing the milk substitution! Happy Holidays!
I tried your recipe for Indian Pudding. The cornmeal seemed to sink to the bottom of the pan and form a thick layer, while the rest of the mixture formed a pudding. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?
Hi Nidia, sounds to me like you needed to cook the mixture longer in step 3. The mixture should thicken, which would distribute the cornmeal more evenly through it.
I just love this site….you can print a recipe and not have to print all the ads and gobbly-gook. You get just the recipe and save your ink and paper for more of their recipes!!!! And they are all good.
If the consistency should be that of hot cereal (like cream of wheat), as someone noted, then it seems to me overkill to increase wet ingredients so much just to essentially “dehydrate” the pudding in the oven.
Hello Zemira, the purpose of baking the pudding in the oven is not simply to dehydrate it. There are sugars and proteins in Indian Pudding that caramelize and brown in the long slow cooking in the oven, resulting in a much deeper flavor for the pudding than you would have if you skipped the baking.
Thank you for the helpful reply. I will have to whip some up soon to find out!
I first read your recipe for ‘chowdah’ and like you, my first experience with it was in Boston as a transplant. I feel like we must have crossed paths because I also worked at a financial co on State Street and all I wanted to do was EAT! Durgin Park turned me on to the fabulous Indian Pudding, a little hole in the wall diner down in Halifax got me hooked on a dish of succotash that I’ve not managed to skillfully re-create, but of course, nothing said comfort like a heaping bowl of fish or clam chowder from Union Oyster House or The No Name. MMM I can still smell it…now I’m in CA trying to draw on those 30+ yr memories! Thank you for the recipes!
Such great memories! The No Name serves the best fish chowder I have ever eaten anywhere. I took my nephew to Durgin Park a few years ago. It was so much fun to watch his eyes light up as he tried out a bite of their Indian pudding. It really is the best.
My family has always cooked Indian Puddin in the oven for 2-3 hrs in a “bean pot”covered n then uncovered with a little tilt to lid ….u get a brown top never made in casserole dish.
What molasses should I use?? I have date molasses, should I use it??
Hi Nada, usually I use unsulphured molasses which is made from cane sugar. You could try making it with date molasses. I’m sure it would be delicious.