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Indian Pudding

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 March 2018 at 20:09
Based on Britain's centuries old hasty pudding made with wheat flour, colonialists substituted readily available corn for wheat and Indian Pudding was born.  There are endless variations but all involve corn meal, molasses and milk.  After that It's all up for grabs.

Indian Pudding began appearing in American cookbooks in 1796.  It was, at one time, popular throughout America but fell out of favor with the introduction of boxed pudding mixes.  It is still a popular item in New England but most folks not from there have never heard of it.  Indian pudding can be found on many New England Thanksgiving tables and may be found, canned, in some supermarkets.  There is even a National Indian Pudding day. November 13th. Imagine that.

I prefer the Durgin-Park recipe as it is not overly sweet or bogged down with a half dozen strong spices like ginger root, cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg or additions such as raisins or cranberries.  The Durgin-Park recipe produces a pudding closest to how I remember it.  I guess that is why it is called the gold standard.  I've never made it with lard but that was a likely ingredient used by my New England relatives.

Durgin-Park Indian Pudding fresh out of a 6 hr bake in the oven.  It doesn't look like much but it sure is tasty.



Peel back the skin before serving.  Some folks throw this part away.  They don't know what they are missing.



Serve hot, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream



Let it get all melty and have at it


I love this stuff as I do most things molasses.







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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 09:58
as you mention, I've never heard of such a thing, but it sure looks delicious! 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 10:38
That looks great to me, and I would definitely like to give some a go ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 12:20
If you like molasses, all will be right with the world.  Otherwise there are many other recipes available that use more sugar, spices etc.  Indian Pudding may be an acquired taste and one of these is probably better for children and the uninitiated.

Speaking of molasses, the price of this by product is going through the roof.  It seems to go up every time I buy a bottle.  Once cheaper than sugar, molasses is approaching the price of quality honey.  A shortage seems unlikely.  I dunno. Prices going up?  What else is new.

After the pudding has set up with an overnight rest in the fridge, it is commonly sliced and served cold for breakfast.  We trade the ice cream in for whipped cream at breakfast.  I guess we are watching our figures.  But yeah, I did that.  Should have taken a pic.  Maybe tomorrow.  If I can stop picking at it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 12:22
Quote If you like molasses, all will be right with the world.


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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 15:39
Although Indian Pudding actually predates it, by at least a century, 1796 actually marks the first American cookbook, written by Amelia Simmons. She actually lists three receipts, under the joint heading “A Nice Indian Pudding.”

To show how these things evolve, her most complicated of the three: “3 pints scalded milk, 7 spoons fine Indian meal, stir well together while hot, let stand till cooled; add 7 eggs, half pound raisins, 4 ounces butter, spice and sugar, bake one and half hour.”

Based on more precise notes, elsewhere in her pudding chapter, by “spice” she likely means cinnamon, nutmeg, and, possibly, rose water.

The Durgin-Park recipe is much more modern (evidenced by the use of baking soda, alone), of course. For various reasons, it's also much sweeter than those made in earlier times.

I have to wonder, too, if it was ever really popular outside of New England. I've never encountered it anywhere else, even as far back as the 1960s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 18:19
Originally posted by HistoricFoodie HistoricFoodie wrote:



I have to wonder, too, if it was ever really popular outside of New England. I've never encountered it anywhere else, even as far back as the 1960s.
You are probably right Brook.  I read the comment "popular all over America" somewhere but I can't find it again.  It was likely either internet crapola or the author was referring to the time period.  All over America would mean other settlers.  Context is important.

Here's some interesting stuff.

This whole thing came about as an itch that needed scratching.  Indian Pudding has been on my mind for a while.  When that happens there is no other way to get rid of the thought other than making a batch. That's how I decide to cook most things.  Stupid monkey mind won't let me be.  This is probably why Joe Froggers will be making an appearance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2018 at 19:42
Some good stuff on that site, G-man.

I've always thought of samp as a kind of thin porridge, though, rather than a pudding. Have even seen references to it as a drink.

But that's the fun of researching historical foods; figuring out what they really meant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2018 at 11:38
"Mention Indian pudding to a non-New Englander, and you'll likely draw a blank stare. Though it has always been staple on Thanksgiving tables in New England, and was known throughout the country well into the 20th century"

The above statement may be how I got the idea Indian Pudding was popular all over America but "known" is not the same as popular.

Full article here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 March 2018 at 13:28
Just supposition on my part, but, when you think of it, outside of the South, corn has never been as popular a grain as it is in New England. Perhaps that has something to do with the lack of popularity in the rest of the country.

Another thought: Somewhat during the Great Depression, and exceedingly so during WWII, wheat was both scarce and expensive. So corn was substituted. Not a hardship in New England, but many folks in the rest of the country (again, excepting the South) therefore associate it with deprivation, and got away from it as soon as possible.

I'm sure there's a master's thesis buried somewhere in there.

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