Oh. my. DELICIOUS. For my next bookspiration, I decided to try out a new recipe related to The Song of Hiawatha, and it turned out amazing! But before I go into the recipe, I’ll explain why I chose it. The stories told throughout The Song of Hiawatha were pulled from Chippewa (or Ojibwe) Indian tales, and much of the Chippewa tribe lived in Northern Michigan. The Chippewa Indians used a lot of birch bark for making teepees, canoes, and baskets (I’m thinking I’d really like to try making a birch bark basket!). And since the Chippewa living in Northern Michigan had a relatively short growing season, a lot of their harvest consisted of wild rice and maple syrup. Ah, sweet, lovely maple syrup.
I have a few American Indian cookbooks and craft books, and so I was searching through them to find the perfect recipe for A Song of Hiawatha. Finally, after much deliberation, I stumbled across recipes for Maple Indian Pudding, not in any of my cookbooks, but online! Without further adieu, here is how this yummy treat is made according to the recipe I chose:
After preheating your oven, you bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Then you add maple syrup and cook for four minutes. I used maple syrup I had leftover from making my Chocolate Maple Roll Cake, and I may or may not have looked at Facebook while stirring the syrup. After the four minutes is up, you add cornmeal, stirring constantly for 6-8 minutes. Since I was busy trying to take a picture while stirring, I ended up with a few lumps of cornmeal, but it didn’t seem to really effect anything. Still, I would recommend not taking a picture and just getting straight to stirring 😉
Next you add beaten eggs, whisking as you go. I was worried that the mixture would still be too hot to add the eggs, but with immediate whisking I had no problems at all. Once the eggs have been incorporated, it is time to pour the mixture into a baking dish and stick it in the oven.
The recipe said to cook “until the center is set,” but as I had never made a pudding in this sense before, I had to check what that meant. According to several websites and youtube videos, the pudding should be a slight golden brown, and when jiggled, the center should move in relation to the rest of the pudding (just slightly like…well…pudding). Once again, you can see how mine came out of the oven in the picture above.
Maple Indian Pudding
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups milk
- 3/4 cups maple syrup
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (I used Quaker Yellow Cornmeal)
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Whipped cream
- Prepare pudding: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 1-quart casserole dish with cooking spray**. In a large saucepan, bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, stir in maple syrup, and cook 4 minutes. Add cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes. Add butter, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg while stirring well. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Whisk eggs into the milk mixture until well combined.
- Bake pudding: Pour into prepared casserole dish and bake until the center is set, about 1 hour. Serve warm and top with whipped cream, if desired***.
**I only had a 2-quart baking dish, so I used that instead. The cooking time was still just under an hour.
***Please desire to eat it with whipped cream. It is fabulous.
(recipe adapted from Country Living)