Adapted from Deborah Madison's Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm and Market.
• 1 quart milk
• 1/2 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup molasses, sorghum, or maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons organic white or brown sugar
• 2 eggs, beaten (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Butter a two-quart gratin dish. Bring three cups of milk to a boil. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal; salt and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and molasses.
. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl and then add the eggs, if using. Whisk in a little of the hot cornmeal to temper the eggs, then whisk them back into the rest. Add the spices. Scrape the batter into the baking dish and pour over the rest of the milk. Bake until the pudding is very brown and glossy, about two and a half hours. It will be perfectly acceptable sooner, but it gets better if you let it go the full time.
Let cool for 30 minutes before serving. It will still be warm and ready for cold cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
To read Aglaia's review of Deborah Madison's Seasonal Fruit Desserts, click here.