Preparation / Directions:
Notes- The pinch of baking powder lightens the texture and the cup of milk poured over top just before baking produces a caramelized top.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Butter baking dish and set aside. Place 1 1/2 cups milk in a double boiler set over gently simmering water over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal and 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl until mixture is smooth. When milk is warm, gradually whisk in cornmeal mixture and cook, whisking, until smooth and thick, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove pudding from heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in butter, molasses, sugar, baking powder and salt. Allow pudding to cool, then beat in egg and transfer to a 4-cup ovenproof lidded dish.
3. Pour remaining 1 cup milk over pudding and cover dish with a tight-fitting lid (or with aluminum foil). Place a large roasting pan in the oven, add about 2" hot water, then set pudding in it. Bake for 3 1/2 hours. Serve warm, topped with heavy cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
History Lesson - In the 17 th Century, English settlers reinvented hasty pudding based on New World ingredients: Molasses from the West Indies and ground maize, which they called Indian Corn (corn originally meaning grain in general). They dubbed the result - a sweet, creamy cornmeal mush -- Indian Pudding, for the maize, not because it resembled any Native American dessert. Indian pudding was nominated as the Official Massachusetts' State Dessert in fall of 1996. It lost the election to upstart Boston Cream Pie