Learn how to make this delicious, exotic gluten-free Indian pudding.
Indian pudding might not be pretty, but few New England desserts can rival its claim to fame as the most comprehensive of the regional sweet dishes. It evolved out of an initial British culinary tradition, which was then enhanced by Native American necessity, and finally, flavored with the fruits of New England commerce.
What? Lol. Here’s a better explanation.
Early colonists brought to America a fondness for British “hasty pudding” – a dish made by boiling wheat flour in water or milk until it thickened into porridge.
Since wheat flour was scarce in the new world, hasty-pudding-deprived settlers adapted by using native corn meal, dubbed “Indian flour,” and flavoring the resulting mush to be either sweet (with maple syrup or molasses) or savory (with drippings or salted meat).
In time, the dish evolved into one that was sweet, with lots of molasses and additional ingredients like butter, cinnamon, ginger, eggs, and sometimes even raisins or nuts. Because New England was a stop in the “Triangle Trade” route of the 18th century, New Englanders found themselves with an abundance of molasses on their hands. Never a wasteful group, they used it to sweeten everything.