Most Americans are unaware that there is actually a national Indian pudding Day celebrated on November 13 in the United States. Native American Indians were a very important part of the first Thanksgiving feast ever celebrated in the Americas. Since this tradition has been upheld from decades past it is interesting to see it approach before Thanksgiving. The national Indian pudding Day is utilized to enjoy the savory and sweet puddings which are part of the Native American Indian cuisine.
Background of the Indian Pudding
It is interesting to note that the name Indian pudding does not refer to the natives but in fact is used to identify the main ingredient which is cornmeal and was earlier called Indian meal.
The Native Indian pudding is a combination of cornmeal and molasses and is often mixed with fruits like Apple and raisins before being baked. This day may not be a national holiday and you really don’t need to wait till the national pudding day to actually enjoy the sweet. Why not utilize a good traditional recipe to create your own family favorite?
Description and Tips for the Classic Indian Pudding
The dessert does not look very appetizing but tastes amazing. It is a brown colored, lumpy looking pudding which can be served with cream or vanilla ice cream. It is traditionally baked custard which contains milk, molasses, butter, fresh eggs and spices and sugar along with Indian meal or cornmeal.
A very prized recipe from the Olde Concorde Christmas recipe book which is out-of-print is still a favorite and gives you the traditional flavor of the Indian pudding with the most basic ingredients. It requires a lot of time and gentleness because you do not want to scramble eggs by cooking them quickly. If this happens the pudding will be lumpy and the texture and mouth feel will be lost. So make sure you have ample time before you try out this recipe and enjoy it with your family.
Scald 6 cups of milk with a half cup of butter in a big double boiler. Preheat your oven to 250°F. Place a half cup of yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and half a cup of molasses in a bowl and combine gently. Use a half cup of the hot milk and add 1 teaspoon at a time to create a thin and running mixture of these dry ingredients. Now gently stir in this mixture into the pot of boiling milk and continue to stir constantly till it becomes thick.
Beat three eggs and temper them by adding half a cup of the boiling cornmeal. Add milk to them and whisk continuously to prevent lumps. Now pour the tempered eggs mixture back into the big pot of milk and cornmeal stirring continuously.
Stir in 1/3 cup of smooth sugar and one teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg along with 1 cup of golden raisins into the double boiler with the pudding. If the mixture is lumpy you can beat it with a hand-held blender to smooth it out.
Pour it into a shallow casserole dish and bake it for two hours in the oven. Cool it for half an hour before serving and serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.