The unique mingling of cornmeal, molasses, and ginger makes this classic American dessert one of my favorites. It’s quick to put together, nutritious, and so delicious, and it’s best served warm; therefore, time it so that it comes out of the oven about 1 hour before you plan to serve it.

SERVES 6

4 cups milk

Вѕ cup cornmeal

4 tablespoons butter, cut into bits

1 egg, lightly beaten

ВЅ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

ВЅ cup molasses

ВЅ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325В°F. Butter a 1ВЅ-quart baking dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring the milk to a boil. Lower the heat and very slowly add the cornmeal, whisking it with a wire whisk all the while. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat in all the remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into the prepared dish. Place this dish in a larger baking dish and fill the outer dish with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the inner dish.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool on a wire rack and serve warm as is, or with heavy cream poured on each serving, or try it with vanilla ice cream for an excellent combination.

NOTE: To reheat leftover pudding cut it into a few pieces and pour on a little milk to moisten. Place in a preheated 350В°F oven and turn off the oven. Heat for 15 minutes or so, or until it is warm throughout.