Sunday, April 29, 2012

Slow cooker Indian pudding recipe

Just so there's no confusion for UK readers, this should probably be called "Native American" pudding. However, although puddings like this were eaten by early settlers in the USA, the name comes from the cornmeal (or "Indian meal") it contains rather than referring to the recipe's ethnic origins. The pudding itself is a simplified version of a typical English pudding of the time. Food history lesson over. All you need to know is, it's yummy. 

I got the molasses required for this pudding in Holland and Barratt as they're hard to come by in supermarkets here but black treacle is a pretty good equivalent.

Ingredients for 4 - 6 portions:

3 cups / 750 ml milk (I used semi-skimmed and it was fine)
1/2 cup / 90 g cornmeal or polenta (fine)
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup / 60 g light brown sugar
1/3 cup / 120 g molasses or treacle
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
2/3 cup / 100 g raisins or chopped dates


Lightly grease the slow cooker pot. Switch it to High while you prepare your pudding. Bring the milk, cornmeal and salt to the boil in a saucepan. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix everything else except the raisins or dates. Gradually add the hot cornmeal mixture to the egg and treacle mixture, beating as you go. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the dried fruit. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and cook for 2-3 hours or, if you prefer, switch it to Low and cook for 6 - 8 hours.


This was unlike any dessert I had ever tried before.  It had a smooth, velvety texture, somewhere between a baked custard and a baked semolina.  Despite the reassuring texture of a nursery pudding, the taste was quite grown-up; spicy but not overpowering. I could imagine it would be fabulous with some vanilla ice-cream. The smell was quite Christmassy and it was definitely a winter or autumn pudding. It's not hard to make so, if you like unusual recipes, give this historic treat a go.


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