A Taste of Home
Simple, more-ish and comforting, you can’t get much more homely than this traditional British pudding that travelled over to America with the Pilgrim Fathers (or Forefathers, as they were first known). Originally from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire the pilgrims set sail for America in 1620 hoping to recreate all their favourite foods when they got there.
As it turned out, as with many of their favourites, the pudding needed a bit of a makeover: wheat flour was scarce so early settlers used cornmeal or ‘Indian corn’ instead and topped it off with a splash of newly discovered maple syrup.
The funny thing is, Hasty pudding, sometimes known as Indian pudding, is now regarded as a great American classic whereas the English version has been all but forgotten about!
- 25g (1oz) butter, diced (plus small extra knob for finishing)
- 50g (2oz) plain flour
- 450ml (¾ pint) milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 25g (1oz) soft brown sugar (plus extra for serving)
- 1medium-large egg, beaten
- Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 160C (fan oven) gas mark 3 or equivalent
You will need a buttered 600ml (1 pint) baking dish
Combine butter, flour, milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat until just boiling, whisking continuously.
Remove from heat and whisk in egg. Pour into baking dish, dot with a small amount of butter and grate nutmeg over.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with a light sprinkling of brown sugar.
For the American Version
Substitute fine cornmeal or polenta for flour and serve with maple syrup and a dab of butter: you may like to reduce the sugar in the pudding by half.
Hands up! Who remembers Creamola?
It’s very odd but whilst I was researching hasty pudding and making some trial versions, I discovered it tastes exactly like my old childhood favourite: Creamola.
Creamola was a wonderfully comforting and subtly flavoured (I can’t quite remember, ground rice or semolina?) pudding that was around years ago. I loved it as a child: in fact I practically lived on it for a few days when I was fourteen. My mum had to go into hospital and whilst my Dad was working overtime I kept myself going with Creamola, mugs of tea and toasted Lincolnshire plum bread.
I often have wistful cravings for it but you can’t get it now, I think it was last heard of sometime in the early nineties. Despite not being made from ground rice or semolina, both these versions of hasty puddings taste just like it: so go on any of you Creamola lovers out there, treat yourselves!