Indian pudding, a slow-cooked mixture made with cornmeal and molasses, goes back to Colonial days, but the topping of vanilla ice cream is very contemporary. The apple and raisins add texture to the smooth pudding. The pudding is best if it is chilled at least overnight; it can be made up to three days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Hot MIlk - 6 cups
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Cornmeal - 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 2
- Molasses - 2-2/3 cups
- Ground cinnamon - 3 tablespoons
- Ground ginger - 1 tablespoon
- Granny Smith or other tart green apple - 1, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- Raisins - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Butter a 2-1/2- to 3-quart shallow ovenproof dish and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine 5 cups of the milk with the butter and heat over medium heat to just below the boiling point, or until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan and steam rises. Combine the remaining 1 cup milk with the cornmeal in a medium bowl and whisk the mixture into the scalded milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the bottom from sticking. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger together. Whisk the egg mixture into the warm cornmeal mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 1 hour. Remove the pudding from the oven, stir in the apple and raisins, and bake for 1 more hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the pudding cool, then cover and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
To serve: Preheat the oven to 300 F. Reheat the pudding for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warm. Scoop into serving bowls and top each with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.