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Caramel Indian Pudding



Scald milk in a deep three-quart saucepan.
Gradually stir in the cornmeal, taking your time so the cornmeal does not lump.
Cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
While the cornmeal is cooking, spread the sugar in a heavy-bottomed skillet and mix with one-half cup water.
Set it over medium heat.
Watch carefully once the sugar has dissolved because it will then begin to caramelize.
The caramel is done when it becomes a uniform honey brown color.
Do not allow the caramel to darken beyond that and remove it from the heat immediately.
Bring the cornmeal mixture to a simmer and slowly pour in the caramel mixture.
It will bubble up but if your pan is deep it will not boil over.
Stir over low heat until the caramel is completely dissolved in the cornmeal.
Off heat, add butter, rum, eggs, salt and nutmeg.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pour the pudding mixture in a buttered two-quart casserole and place in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Stir in half and half and continue baking for one-and-a-half hours.
Serve warm or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream, as desired.