I am not sure why, but one Sunday a few weeks ago, I felt like making something with cornmeal that was not corn bread. So I turned to my trusty source, The Joy of Cooking, for inspiration.
As it was a rather damp, cold and throroughly un-Spring-like day, the word “pudding” lept out at me from the page. Pudding – warm, comforting and undoubtedly delicious. As indeed it proved to be. Despite appearances…
Because yes, it really does not look all that inspiring. In fact, as the mother of a small, nappy wearing child, I can confirm that the finished pudding does resemble something that has already been rejected by the digestive system. But as with so many thing in this life, appearances can be deceptive and if you make it past this hurdle, you will be rewarded with mouthful of creamy, gingery, milky goodness.
As the book says, this is a pudding that dates back to the days of the early Pilgrim settlers. The name derives from the fact that it was the native “Indians” who taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn.
Preheat oven to 130 degC/275 degF/Gas 1
Grease well a 20-33 cm (1.5-2 litre) baking dish
Measure into a large, heavy saucepan: 60g cornmeal
Stir in, gradually, to prevent lumps: 1 litre whole milk
Stirring constantly, bring to the boil over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat as low as possible and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and whisk in:
125ml light or dark molasses or golden syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
Turn the pudding into the greased dish. Bake until the centre looks firm but still slighlty quivery when the dish is gently shaken, 2.5 – 3 hours. A dark crust will form on top (don’t panic!). Let cool on a wire rack for 30 mins – 1 hour before serving.