Have you ever heard of this? If you have not, you are not alone! The dish is part of the regional cuisine of New England.
The dish has its origins in 16th century England where a similar version was made called “Hasty Pudding.” 17th-century colonists brought the hasty pudding recipe to the Americas and quickly found that an integral ingredient, wheat, was not as readily available in this new land. They substituted “Indian meal” or cornmeal for the wheat and changed the name, to reflect this adaptation, to “Indian Pudding.” The dish was served hot as an accompaniment to a cold weather meal.
The pudding is made by combining milk, cornmeal, brown sugar, light molasses, butter and spices in a saucepan and cooking over medium heat until the mixture thickens but is still liquid enough to pour. The “batter” is then poured into a baking dish and slowly cooked on low heat. The result is a firm custard-like texture. For service, it is common to top it with cooked fruit, toasted nuts, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
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