In my search for holiday recipes, I went back to one of my favorite blogs written by the cooks in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Foodways. The cooks at the museum and historic site spend every day translating the food of Colonial America into an understandable recipe that can be recreated in any modern kitchen.
Looking through their recipe index, I stumbled across a great recipe for “A Nice Indian Pudding”, first published in Amelia Simmons American Cookery in 1796. It’s basically a fancy sweetened cornbread. There’s even a video to help you learn to make it! This beautiful variation is hearty, like a bread pudding, and would make a great and unexpected side dish at your holiday meal. It’s got a dark color and beautiful spices to give it that lovely fall flavor.
Coincidentally, after I’d written this blog, I heard more about Indian Pudding and it’s deep historical ties to New England history on an NPR podcast. You can read the transcripts and see more photos of Indian pudding by visiting their website. I had to laugh when the reporter mentioned the color of the dish-it does not look terrible appetizing, for sure, but I find it makes a really delicious and hearty breakfast served warm with a bit of whip cream and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey over the top!
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon EACH of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat your oven to 360 degrees.
Heat milk over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly add the cornmeal, stirring it in a little bit at a time with a whisk. Once it’s blended, put the mixture back on the burner and cook it until it’s fairly thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add the raisins, sugar, spices and butter and whisk them all together until well blended.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well and then add the cream into the eggs and whisk until well blended. Add this egg/cream mixture to the cornmeal mixture and blend thoroughly with a spoon.
Pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch pie plate or an 8 inch square casserole dish.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean.
Serve and enjoy!