This warming cornmeal-thickened sugar pudding recipe comes to us from Ed Brown, of Manhattan's now closed Ed's Chowder House. Read more about the history of the dessert in Looks Aren't Everything: An Ode to Indian Pudding.
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
- 5 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1 (2") piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 3⁄4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2⁄3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp. light molasses
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 stick cinnamon, halved
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Heat oven to 325°. Grease eight 4-oz. ramekins; set aside. Bring milk, ginger, and vanilla bean with seeds to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat; remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl; discard ginger and vanilla bean. Return milk to saucepan and add sugar, cornmeal, molasses, syrup, and cinnamon; bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter, and remove from heat; discard cinnamon.
Pour mixture evenly among ramekins, and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and the center jiggles slightly when the ramekins are tapped, about one hour. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then top with a scoop of ice cream to serve.