Growing up in New Hampshire, we always had Indian Pudding at Thanksgiving. I took this delicacy for granted until I moved to other areas of the country where the dish was virtually unknown. Best described as a cross between bread pudding and pumpkin pie, it is perfect served warm with a side of natural vanilla bean ice cream.
Indian Pudding first appeared in New England during the 17th century. It grew in popularity and became a Thanksgiving staple. However, Indian Pudding seems to be fading from memory, even in our region. I have enclosed our family recipe below (with lactose free equivalents). If you are looking for a new treat, give it a whirl!
Classic Indian Pudding
5 Cups Whole Milk (yes, whole milk as skim and fat free do not work. Lactose Free will also work)
½ cup Yellow Corn Meal
½ cup Sugar
½ Cup Molasses
¼ Cup Butter (for Lactose Free use Margarine)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (If unavailable, mix ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg)
Preheat Oven to 350. Combine 2 cups milk with corn meal, sugar, molasses, butter, salt, and spice in heavy sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Pour into buttered baking dish (8 cup dish). Stir in 2 more cups milk. Bake for one hour. Stir in remaining one cup milk and back for approximately 1-2 hours or until set (jiggly, but still soft)
Serve with Natural Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (I have also found lactose free ice cream, but it can be a challenge to find)