A cornmeal-thickened, molasses-flavored custard may sound odd, but it is actually quite delicious. Unfortunately, this quintessential New England dessert is hard to find these days.
Why This Recipe Works
We made batch after batch of our Indian pudding with varying amounts of molasses and spices until we hit on the ideal amount of each—balanced enough that each component in the pudding could still be tasted. To round out the flavors and add more sweetness, we added maple syrup, which was untraditional, but greatly improved the pudding. We found that coarser, stone-ground meal made for a more richly flavored Indian pudding recipe with an appealing texture. We quickly discovered that Indian pudding “breaks,” or curdles, for one of two reasons: too much fat in the mix or too high a baking temperature. The fat issue was easy to overcome by excluding butter and adding a little cornstarch to stabilize the milk fat. A dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream on top of the pudding adequately replaced any missing fat.