14 August 2007

Day 3: Indian Pudding Ice Cream

If I had known what Indian Pudding was, I never would have ordered it as an ice cream flavor. When I asked the young Polish man behind the counter of a Maine ice cream parlor, he just said it was a molasses spice flavor and mumbled something about corn (which I thought surely he must have mistranslated), but he assured me it was good. I ordered it on his advice, and it quickly became one of my favorites of that summer. It was only later that I learned about this classic New England dessert, a slow-baked pudding made with cornmeal, molasses, and eggs. It turns out to be a delicious ice cream flavor also, but I know what you’re thinking, cornmeal, in ice cream?

indian pdg ice cream prep
In the kitchen with Grandma and Aunt Jemima, someone forgot to invite Uncle Ben?!

However, after tinkering around with the recipe, I’ve found just the ice cream that will convince you otherwise. The cornmeal is cooked until very soft, so it adds body to the ice cream, and a bit of texture, but it’s not in any way gritty or annoying. The wonderful flavors of molasses and spices are warm and sweet, and it’s perfect with a little drizzle of maple syrup over top. This ice cream tends to freeze a bit hard, so I recommend serving it soon after churning.

Indian Pudding Ice Cream
This ice cream has the warm flavors of molasses and spice, and the cornmeal custard gives it a nice body without being at all gritty. Because it tends to freeze a bit hard, I recommend serving it soon after churning, preferably drizzled with lots of maple syrup.

2 cups half-and-half*
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbl cornmeal
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch cloves
for serving: maple syrup

1. Place two cups half-and-half in a saucepan with the cornmeal, brown sugar, molasses, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 7-10 minutes, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thin porridge. Test the mixture, the cornmeal should be soft and not at all gritty, if it is not, continue to cook slowly until the cornmeal is soft. Remove from the heat and stir for a minute or so to cool the mixture. Stir in the one cup of cream to combine.
2. Refrigerate the mixture to chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours. Churn in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately, drizzled with maple syrup, or pack into containers and store in the freezer.

*2 cups half-and-half is also known as 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream. If you're looking to make a lower-fat version, you can try using all whole milk instead of the half-and-half.


Deborah said...

What an interesting ice cream flavor!!!

Hannah said...

This is absolutely brilliant- What a creative new interpretation of indian pudding!

tammy said...

Now, you're just torturing me. Do you know how much I LOVE Indian pudding? I haven't even put the ice cream maker bowl thingy back in the freezer, yet.

Sandi said...

That sounds reeeaaaaly sweet. My favorite ice cream experience is a 1/2 gal of orange sherbet, a 1/2 gal of vanilla ice cream and a little 7Up. Mix it all up with a mixer and everyone thinks you made it from scratch

Darkbyte said...

What is half and half?

Mercedes said...

Darkbyte- half-and-half is half whole milk, half cream. It's butterfat is about 12.5%, similar to a very light cream. You can substitute a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream.

Peabody said...

Wow, I never would have thought to convert it into an ice cream.

Mercedes said...

I can't really take the credit for turning Indian Pudding into an ice cream, but I am quickly becoming of the mind that any dessert can be converted to an ice cream flavor!

Homesick Texan said...

Oh yes, nothing reminds me of an East Coast summer more than Indian pudding. I know which ice-cream I'm making next!

Mercedes said...

Lisa- who knew a Texan also had a fondness for Indian pudding, let me know if you try it ;-)

ANNE said...

Help! I had I.P. Ice cream this summer also in Maine- on the Nubble in York Beach and have been looking for it again ever since - does anyone know who else carries this style? Unlikely that I will make it - but willing to drive!

Violi said...

Is there a reason that there are no egg yolks in this recipe? I wonder if the yolk matrix would help to keep the ice cream from freezing so hard.

Just wondering- I've been experimenting with yolks vs. sans yolks for awhile and I haven't really made up my mind.

Anonymous said...

i made this over the weekend and absolutely love it. i did use all whole milk (no cream) and it came out just fine - good mouthfeel and completely scoopable.
thank you for doing all the work of figuring out the perfect recipe!

Anonymous said...

I too love indian pudding! If you ever come back to Maine, or you live in Maine)go to an ice cream stand in Porter Maine and they have the best, and I mean the best indian pudding ice cream. I live in Austin and in Maine and was looking to recreate the recipe. Thank you so much!

Liz Crawley said...

I make this every year at Thanksgiving, love it. Thanks!