Indian Pudding was very popular in early America, falling out of favor in the 1900’s due to the time required to cook it. It had been, and still is, a cold weather treat normally served in the New England states.
The original colonists brought the idea of pudding with them from Europe but the recipes there called for wheat which was not easily found in the new colonies. Learning how to grow, and use corn, the colonists used cornmeal instead of wheat and created a new dessert which they called Indian Pudding in honor of their new friends.
It is generally made with cornmeal and molasses or maple syrup, ginger, butter, eggs, raisins, and nuts. Recipes were readily available in most cook books until the 19th century. For a more traditional taste, here’s a recipe for you to try.
Or you can buy it in a can, but I’ll bet the home made version is better. Though it has become a lesser known dessert, those who did try and improve it made it creamier in the 20th century. Pending on how you make it, or buy it, you may want to add vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream to the pudding. Most recipes call for a thicker version which is a little more cake like than like a normal pudding.
Of course you can add anything you like to it. Cherries, apples, and any berries add a kick to the already sweet dessert.
How to celebrate – Try making your own Indian Pudding for the holidays, it would go great with a more traditional Thanksgiving meal! Go to New England where the dessert is making a little bit of a comeback and sample what they make. Serve it at Thanksgiving but don’t tell anybody what it is, see if they can guess.