The history of Maple Indian Pudding dates to the colonization of North America. In an attempt to replicate hasty pudding with available grains, British colonizers substituted cornmeal for the oats which would have been the basis of the original recipe. One version of this history credits Native Americans for the abundance of cornmeal, another states the colonizers referred to the corn cobs as Indians. In either case, cornmeal and Native Americans were linked and the pudding was so named.
The pudding is often made with molasses as the sweetener, but some variations use maple syrup.
- 3c milk
- 3/4c maple syrup (Nova Scotia maple syrup is an outstanding product)
- 1/2c cornmeal
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, beaten
In a large saucepan, bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, stir in maple syrup, and cook for 4 minutes. Enjoy the aroma at this stage. Add cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add butter, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg while stirring. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk the beaten eggs into the mixture until well incorporated. Pour mixture into a greased 1 quart casserole dish and bake in oven preheated to 350F for about 1 hour. The centre should be set.
You can enjoy this pudding warm, with whipped cream, ice cream or frozen yoghurt. Personally I prefer it cold and without adornment.
Cornmeal contains potassium, folate, vitamin A, and phosphorus. Enriched cornmeal contains riboflavin, niacin and thiamine as well. Prepared with eggs and milk, the pudding is a source of both protein and calcium. Blackstrap molasses, if used to sweeten the dish is a good source of iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Low-fat milk may be used successfully in the recipe, and butter can be replaced by margarine or omitted altogether. Check out the nutritional value of maple syrup here.