Indian Pudding


by Linda Pascatore

©1997 The Gobbler: Autumn Feast


This was a traditional colonial Thanksgiving dessert. How fitting when one remembers that the Native Americans saved the Pilgrims from starvation by sharing with them their native grain, corn. The Indians probably made their version with berries for the sweet taste. They would lower the pudding into a preheated cooking pit, cover it, seal it with mud, and allow it to cook overnight. Warm pudding would be served with breakfast.

The colonial recipes evolved to include molasses, sugar, lard or butter, baking soda, eggs, and milk. The pudding was baked for five to seven hours, in a well greased stone crock. Sweet puddings are now served for breakfast on Indian feast and dance days, at weddings, and at naming parties for babies. Small pieces are broken off and eaten with the fingers. The leftover portion is dried, pulverized, and made into a beverage by adding hot water.

Indian Pudding
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup berries or raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Place cornmeal and salt in saucepan. Add water gradually and stir to prevent lumps. A wire whisk is very helpful. Bring to boil over high flame, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about five minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into corn-oiled baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour, uncovered, stirring once halfway through so raisins don't stick on the bottom. Let sit about one hour before serving.

Recipe from American Macrobiotic Cuisine, by Meredith McCarty

Happy Thanksgiving!