Celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November as a public holiday, Thanksgiving is traditionally a grand feast in honor of a good harvest year in America. Thanksgiving dinners are held as large family gatherings around classic homemade dishes like roast turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The Indian Cornmeal Pudding, though less common on Thanksgiving tables, is a popular New England dessert with a thick and creamy consistency, almost porridge-like. It is typically sweetened with molasses while being lightly spiked with cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg.
The recipe from Epicurious is warm, sweet and comforting and therefore an excellent cure in my books to make on a post-call day when you are down with period cramps and headache. Served with a massive scoop of vanilla ice cream, it instantly drives away every pain and discomfort that might linger after a tiring double call in pediatrics. To cut down on the long baking hours, I made them in small ramekins for neat, individual servings. Best eaten warm with melting ice cream, I found that I also liked this pudding chilled with a drizzle of golden syrup for breakfast.
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon mild-flavored molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2″ baking dish or 6 small oven-safe porcelain ramekins.
- Combine the milk, muscovado sugar, cornmeal, molasses, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan.
- Whisk mixture over medium-high heat till it thickens, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
- Cook for about 15-20 minutes till it reaches a thick but pourable consistency. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture into prepared baking dish or ramekins.
- Bake till golden brown and center no longer moves when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Bake for just under 30 minutes if using ramekins. Remove pan from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Scoop the pudding into serving bowls. Top it with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with golden syrup.