23 November 2012

Mock Pumpkin Custard

I have said it before and I will say it again -- I am getting so tired of all things pumpkin.  They're everywhere.  If you looked at Pinterest, you would think that half of the American diet consists of pumpkin-based foods.  It is really out of hand.  I read somewhere last week that someone (The New York Times, maybe?) declared that pumpkin is the next Nutella.  Don't get me wrong -- I really like pumpkin, but I like the spices usually combined with pumpkin as much as the gourd itself.

This is a dessert I have wanted to try out for a while.  It's one of those ideas that I love, since it makes something truly delightful out of nearly nothing.  I expected it to be full of those Fall flavors like ginger and cinnamon, but I didn't expect it to taste just like a pumpkin pie without the crust.  It looks eerily like pumpkin pie, too.  I had to put some whipped topping on it just as I do with pumpkin pie.  It's what I had for my Thanksgiving dessert.  None of the dreaded pumpkin was anywhere near my plate.  I'll bet you could even fool your friends.

This is actually a traditional Southern recipe called Indian Pudding or, sometimes, Ozark Pudding.  I had to change the name, though, since I feel a little duped after all these years.  So, if you make it you know what to expect.  You will be amazed by this simple, but so deceptive dessert.  I promise.

i scooped mine out of the pan, but i shoulda just sliced it
Mock Pumpkin Custard
makes one 9" x 13" pan or two 8" round pans

Print me, Please!!!

5 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup light brown sugar
2/3 c yellow cornmeal (not self rising)
2 T unsulphured molasses
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T bourbon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325°.  Butter the baking dish(es); set aside.

Combine the milk, brown sugar, cornmeal, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon in a very large saucepan.  Whisk the ingredients over medium-high heat until it is boiling and thickens, but is still pourable, 15-18 minutes.  Remove from the heat, then whisk in the butter, vanilla, and bourbon (if using).

Pour the mixture into the baking dish(es).  Bake until golden and the center is set, about 1 hour 30 minutes.  Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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