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Author Notes: While trying to decide what to make for dessert twoThanksgivings ago, I first learned about Indian Pudding. I did a little research and found out that recipes for the baked custard known as Indian Pudding go back several hundred years, but despite the name, it is not a traditional native American dessert. It was made by the American colonists, though: it's a variation on British Hasty Pudding, but made with "local" American cornmeal (hence the name- cornmeal was once known as Indian meal). My version, which incorporates baked silky sweet potatoes, is fairly simple, but it's dense and delicious. It is best when cooked at a low temperature for a long time, almost 2 hours. It makes a great dessert for Thanksgiving, and it can be served with a little cream poured on top, or with a scoop of fresh whipped cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream. It is also wonderful plain, and I love it cold for (a decidedly somewhat decadent) breakfast. —WinnieAb
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, creme fraiche or sour cream
- Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and wrap them in foil. Bake in a 400°F oven for 1.5 hours. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before unwrapping and slicing in half. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.
- Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and place it in a blender with the milk. Blend until smooth.
- In a heavy pan, heat the sweet potato and milk mixture over medium heat. Add the cornmeal, and, while you stir it with a whisk, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium and continue to whisk as you cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, molasses, spices, and salt. Whisk to blend all the ingredients. Let the mixture cool slightly.
- In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs. Add about 1/2 cup of the warm cornmeal mixture to the eggs and beat again. Add the tempered eggs to the larger pot of the batter and whisk together to combine.
- Add the 1/2 cup of cream, half and half, sour cream or creme fraiche and whisk again.
- Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish and bake at 275°F for 2 hours. Serve warm, alone or with cream or whipped cream, crème fraîche, or ice cream.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Sweet Potato Recipe