Indian Pudding is the ultimate Yankee comfort food, made with few ingredients (if it calls for more than eight ingredients you don’t have the original version). The coming cool, crisp autumn weather makes me crave Indian Pudding. It’s very sweet, and reminiscent of gingerbread or pumpkin pie because of the molasses. You must serve it warm with plain vanilla ice cream, which stands as a great foil to the grainy sweetness. Many people serve this for Thanksgiving, thinking that the Indians brought it to the first feast with the Pilgrims. I doubt they had molasses, milk and butter, but I'm sure that they introduced cornmeal to the settlers at Plymouth. Perhaps they had a similar dish.
You may buy canned Indian Pudding by the Bar Harbor brand, carried in Hannaford’s and Shaw’s chains of supermarkets and some general stores around New England. I saw it on the shelves at LL Bean’s store in Freeport, Maine. You can also order it online at the Bar Harbor website http://barharbor.elsstore.com/ and also at www.amazon.com
Indian Pudding was made famous by the a line in the second stanza of the song Yankee Doodle- “…and there we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty pudding…” Maybe this is why Indian Pudding used to be served at Harvard’s Hasty Pudding club? There are a few restaurants that still serve this treat, but the list is shrinking every day since it is considered a bit old fashioned and fuddy-duddy. Ask for it often and maybe some places will bring it back to their menus!
from Fannie Farmer's Cookbook
4 cups of milk
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/ cup molasses
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Heat 2 cups of milk until very hot and pour it slowly over the cornmeal, stirring occasionally. Cook in a double boiler over simmering water for 10 - 15 minutes, until the cornmeal mixture is creamy. Add the remaining ingredient and mix well. Spoon into a buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Pour the remaining 2 cups of milk on top, set into a pan of hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 - 3 hours until set. The pudding will become firmer as it cools. Serve with heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.
Restaurants that still serve Indian Pudding (sometimes only seasonally) Call first!
Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, Massachusetts www.wayside.org
Village Restaurant, Essex, Massachusetts www.village-essex.com
Durgin Park, Anthony’s Pier 4, and Locke Ober in Boston, Massachusetts
Summer Shack, Cambridge, Massachusetts (at the Boston location, too?)
Verona, Watertown, Massachusetts
Publick House Inn, in Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Milepost, Duxbury, Massachusetts
Colonial Inn, Concord, Massachusetts
Indian Head Resort, Lincoln, New Hampshire
Bunten Farmhouse Kitchen, Orford, New Hampshire http://buntenfarm.com/index.shtml
Red Parka Pub, Glen, New Hampshire http://www.redparkapub.com
Aunt Carrie’s, Point Judith, Rhode Island http://www.auntcarriesri.com/
Maine Diner, Wells, Maine www.mainediner.com
Blue Benn Diner, Bennington, Vermont
Bryant House, Weston, Vermont
Do you know other restaurants that serve Indian Pudding? If so, please leave the name and location in the comments.
Read from another blogger who loves Indian Pudding at this link: http://newenglandfolklore.blogspot.com/2009/03/indian-pudding.html
Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo