A Nice Indian Pudding

Those of you who like cornbread may want to try this for a change. Thick, much like a bread pudding, it can be sweetened and spiced to your liking. Use it as a side dish or a different kind of dessert.

18th Century

3 pints scaled milk, 7 spoons of fine Indian meal, stir together while hot, let stand till cooled; add 7 eggs, half pound of raisins, 4 ounces butter, spice and sugar; bake one and a half hour.

— Simmons, Amelia, “American Cookery,” 1796.

21st Century

  • 1 pint of milk (or cream if you want it rich) + 2 or 3 tbsp cream
  • 10 ounces of cornmeal
  • 3 ounces of raisins
  • 3 ounces of sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp each (or less if you choose) of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1 ½ ounces of butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  1. Heat milk over medium heat. Remove it from burner and slowly add the cornmeal, stirring it slowly with a whisk. Once blended return it to the burner and cook until fairly thick.
  2. Remove from heat and add melted butter and spices then blend these altogether.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk eggs well, add the tablespoons of cream and whisk until incorporated with the eggs.
  4. Add the eggs to the cornmeal mixture and blend thoroughly with a spoon.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch pie plate.
  6. Bake in a 360° oven for 30 minutes or more. Stick a knife blade in, and if it comes out clean it is done.

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10 Responses to “A Nice Indian Pudding”

  1. June 27th, 2013

    Lane Rose says:

    Could you translate the ounces to cup/spoon measurements?

    • July 10th, 2013

      Historic Foodways says:

      Susie Hoard’s response (below) is correct which will make the the following a translation of cups to ounces. 1 pint of milk is 2 cups, 10 ounces of cornmeal is 1 1/4 cups, 3 ounces of raisins is 6 Tbsp, the same with sugar and 3 Tbsp of butter.
      Thanks for asking. I hope this will aid you in the process.
      Dennis Cotner

  2. July 1st, 2013

    Susie Hoard says:

    One ounce equals approximately 1/8 cup or 2 Tablespoons.

  3. July 3rd, 2013

    mitch says:

    Just a quick clarification please! The recipe says 1 pint of milk and 3 eggs, but in the video, Frank says 3 pints scalded milk and 7 eggs,(which is what is in the original) Is the updated recipe just scaled down?

    • July 10th, 2013

      Historic Foodways says:

      Thanks for asking about that. The modern recipe is scaled down. Frank was referring to the original recipe.

  4. July 4th, 2013

    carolina says:

    Oops! When speaking of Simmons’ book, Frank says it was “published in 1797″! Alas, no. It was, indeed, 1796 (as it’s given above). In fact, there were two editions published by her in that same year, one in Hartford, CT and one in Albany, NY. One request: I would’ve liked to’ve seen it cut into, so we could see what it looks like inside. Nevertheless, it looks mighty tasty! HUZZAH!

  5. July 17th, 2013

    J Bell says:

    Would you please publish the recipe for Shield’s Tavern cabbage slaw?

  6. July 18th, 2013

    Jen G says:

    Tried this today and LOVED it! I will definitely prepare it again soon. Perhaps then I’ll be able to snap a photo–this one didn’t stay unsampled long enough!

  7. November 25th, 2013

    Angela Hursh says:

    I tried it! I think it tastes best warmed slightly with a little whip cream and some maple syrup or honey drizzle. MMM-love the blog and keep up the good work!

  8. December 6th, 2013

    Epicee says:

    I enjoy looking at your recipes and was inspired to download ebook versions of some of the cookbooks you draw from. I made one of the gingerbread cookie recipes from American Cookery, and I was wondering, when a recipe from 1796 calls for “sugar,” does that refer to white granulated sugar or was their sugar less refined, with brown sugar being a closer substitution? I notice that you call for white sugar in recipes calling for sugar, but I just wondered if you could give a little more information on what kind of sugar was commonly available.

    And thanks for the work you do in posting the recipes.

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