As long-time readers of this blog may know, I am a huge Indian pudding fan. I've written about it several times in the past and will definitely write about it again in the future. I've even written about Indian pudding possessed by Satan. It's an endlessly fertile topic.
I don't think I'm the only person fascinated by this sweet (but slightly salty) cornmeal mush. You can still find it on the menu at Boston's Durgin Park restaurant, and a recent article on Saveur mentioned some chefs outside New England who have added it to their restaurant menus. Maybe if I am lucky Indian pudding will become the new hipster fad and I'll be able to find it at lots of trendy local restaurants.
Until that happy day comes I'll have to either make my own or buy it canned. When I was a kid (many years ago now) I seem to remember having canned Indian pudding made by the One Pie company in Maine, but now it seems One Pie focuses mostly on canned pumpkin and canned squash.
However, you can still buy canned Indian pudding from Bar Harbor Foods. I've seen it at Whole Foods, and the Stop and Shop in my neighborhood sold it this year starting around Thanksgiving. After Christmas it went on sale which gave me a perfect excuse to try it.
This is what I saw when I opened the can. Bar Harbor's recipe doesn't include any eggs, which is fine by me but might explain why it looked so dense when I opened the can. It was really solid.
The label said "Good hot or cold!" so I decided to try some right out of the can. It wasn't bad (there's no such thing as bad Indian pudding) but it was pretty dense. I put some in the microwave for about a minute and then tasted it again.
It was great! Heating it up really help blend the flavors, while the texture became much softer and more pudding-like. I didn't have any whipped cream or ice cream, but if I had it would have been a perfect Indian pudding experience. If you want some New England flavor at your meal but are rushed for time I think the Bar Harbor Indian pudding will do the trick.
Happy New Year!