Waterleaf Fruity Indian Pudding


Executive chef Jean-Louis Cerc

My version of this baked, colonial American dessert contains apples and raisins, combined with the traditional ingredients of cornmeal and molasses.

Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves: 16


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (I recommend Jonathan, Rome Beauty, or Gala)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


  1. Heat the oven to 325°. Grease a 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the butter, sugar, and 5 cups of the milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and remaining cup of milk, and then whisk it gradually into the heated milk mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, whisking frequently to make sure the mixture isn't burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, molasses, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium bowl. Add them to the thickened cornmeal mixture, whisking everything together thoroughly, and then stir in the vanilla, apple, and raisins.
  5. Transfer the pudding to the prepared dish. Bake until it's golden brown and the center no longer jiggles when the pudding is shaken,
    about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Serve the pudding, warm or at room temperature, in bowls and topped with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like.


To keep the pudding and other food warm - and avoid reheating - wrap two layers of kitchen towels around the base of the dish as soon as it comes out of the oven. It will stay warm for up to 3 hours after baking.


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