Throwback Thursday: A Nice Indian Pudding
by Keleigh May on November 5th, 2015

A Nice Indian Pudding
  • 3 cups scalded milk
  • 1 cup corn meal (grits)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz. butter
  •  2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300. Scald milk. 

I had no idea what this meant, so here is a video that describes the process. 
Pour scalded milk over grits (corn meal) and a pinch of salt. Stir in butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cool to room temperature. 
Once pudding mixture has cooled whisk an egg and pour into pudding. 
Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake on 300 for 2 hours. 
Image taken from "The First American Cookbook, A Facsimile of "American Cookery" 
Published by Dover Publications

A Real Deal Thanksgiving Meal!

In honor of Thanksgiving (which I fear is quickly becoming the Pluto of the Holidays), I present to you a recipe that might have actually been served on that first Thanksgiving way back in 1621. This recipe comes from "The First American Cookbook, A Facsimile of "American Cookery", 1796 by Amelia Simmons". Ok so I know this cookbook was published a good 175 years after the first Thanksgiving, but when you consider all that was happening during that time, I mean did anyone have time to sit down and write a cookbook? As we all know, recipes are passed down from generation to generation, therefore making this recipe very likely to have been served during Pilgrim times.
I don't think I ever realized that corn meal wasn't used in European cooking until I started reading these old cookbooks.  Therefore A Nice Indian Pudding was one  of the first uniquely American recipes! Corn meal was in fact called "Indian Meal." Would the Pilgrims have called it that had the Native American's not shown them how to grow and use this ingredient on that first Thanksgiving, I think not (furthering my belief that this was served that Thanksgiving in Plymoth). 
When I first saw the word "Pudding" I thought of some Jell-O type consistency dessert, however I have been binge watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix (amazing show, watch it), and know that a British pudding is more of a steamed cake (more on the differences of puddings here). The taste actually wasn't that bad! Once I cut into it, as you can see, it wasn't very pretty (a nice dollap of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream would have helped this photo tremendously, but alas I had neither on blogger problems). I think that if I were to make this again I would use a more finely ground corn meal verses the stone ground grits I used (just a texture thing). It is a very plain dessert, but with some homemade salted caramel sauce, or a scoop of ice cream would be really fantastic! Looking for an authentic Thanksgiving dessert to serve this year? Where there's a meal, there's a way!

Posted in Desserts, Gluten-Free, Sides, Throwback Recipes    Tagged with authentic thanksgiving meal, 1621 indian pudding, indian pudding, Thanksgiving


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