Sunday, November 13, 2011

Indian Pudding Day, November 13th


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 the Indians had molasses, milk and butter, but I'm sure that they introduced cornmeal to the settlers at Plymouth.  Perhaps they had a similar dish using maple as a sweetner.  I noticed that they usually serve this at the re-enacted 17th century dinners at Plimoth Plantation museum at Thanksgiving time.


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, and at several touristy general stores, such as Calef's in Barrington, New Hampshire.   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!


Here is the recipe so you can try this at home.  I like to make it at home because I'm lactose intolerant and I can use lactose free milk (or almond milk) at home.  I wish restaurants had this option, but it is difficult to find it at any restaurant in New England these days. 


Indian Pudding 
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
1/3 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.


A more modern version, served at Plimoth Plantation using a slow cooker:
https://newengland.com/today/food/desserts/puddings-custards/plimoth-plantations-slow-cooker-indian-pudding/  

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 (closed), 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
Cole's Farm Restaurant, Gray, Maine

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

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Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Indian Pudding Day, November 13th", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 13, 2018, ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/11/indian-pudding-day-november-13th.html: accessed [access date]).  

15 comments:

  1. Have just had a catch up of your blog ...that pudding sounds interesting ...would love to taste it. That flip pal looks amazing and that is a good tip about looking at the back os a memorial.Take Care.

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  2. Do we know of restaurants that serve Indian Pudding? NOOOOOOOO! I've never heard of this. Yankee's come up with the darndest things! LOL. The texture seems off. Is it like a sweetened corn mush? Do they put it in a pie shell like a filling? That may work. Ok, I'm actually going to try it. I have a brother who will eat anything, and I love new recipes.
    This county is so culturally interesting!

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  3. Kathleen, it is mushy AND grainy. It's hot served in a bowl with cream or ice cream. Beware- it is VERY SWEET!

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  4. I've had the Indian Pudding at Durgin Park -- really good!

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  5. I meant to say "this country is so culturally interesting."

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  6. Sounds delish, Heather-- I am so going to try making this!

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  7. Thanks so much for the Fanny Farmer recipe. They also serve this at the Hearth and Kettle restaurants.

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  8. It's still on the menu at the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine. "This old new england favorite consists of corn meal, molasses, light cream, butter, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and is served warm; topped with vanilla ice cream." $3.50.

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  9. It's still on the menu at Cole Farms Restaurant in Gray, Maine!

    http://www.colefarms.com/PDF/menu_2015.pdf

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  10. Please clarify the molasses amount--recipe shows 1/ cup. Guessing you mean 1/4 cup?

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  11. The Happy Hour Restaurant in Woodsville, NH -- excellent Indian Pudding Thanksgiving and Christmas...not sure if other times. Yum!

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  12. The Happy Hour Restaurant in Woodsville, NH serves an excellent Indian Pudding around Thanksgiving and Christmas...not sure if other times. Delicious! It's a great old-fashioned family restaurant.

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  13. All my life, wherever I lived, there was always a Howard Johnson's Restaurant. We ate Indian pudding a la mode; it was steaming hot and moist with vanilla ice cream on top. Truly magical tastes for an American fare. I learned to make it from an old "Joy of Cooking" of my Mom's. She always served it for Thanksgiving. I, likewise, kept the tradition going. There is no Thanksgiving nor Christmas dinner without it at my house!

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