Brûléed Indian Pudding with Blueberries


I’ve been intrigued by Yankee Indian Pudding for quite some time.  I most certainly did not grow up with cornmeal and sugar together in any dish.  Cornbread in Texas is sugar-less.  Furthermore, we do not associate with people who eat sweet grits with maple syrup for breakfast.

When it comes to cornmeal, you’re either in the savory camp or the sweet camp.

While I pledge allegiance to savory cornmeal (cornmeal-fried catfish and hush puppies will convert anyone), I couldn’t get the idea of sweet cornmeal pudding out of my head.  I love cornmeal in all its shapes and forms, so why not with blueberries stirred in, and a crunchy sugar crust?

I made the cornmeal pudding on the stove with a touch of sugar.  I stirred in butter and lemon zest for good measure.  After pouring the pudding into serving dishes, I pressed in blueberries.

My dear Yankee friends:  I understand that true Indian Pudding is baked with molasses, spices and tastes much like pumpkin pie.  But, this lemon-y blueberry version is perfect for summer because it doesn’t require any oven-time.

The sugared blueberries on top are a special touch.


Now that I’m officially a traitor in the sweet cornmeal camp, I can’t decide if I like this pudding best served hot or cold.

You may certainly sprinkle the sugar on top and caramelize it with a blow torch right after making, or you can cover and chill before serving.  It almost has a creme brûlée taste with its warm, crunchy sugar top and cool, creamy pudding.

I hope you enjoyed this variation of Indian Pudding!

Brûléed Indian Pudding with Blueberries
Yields: 2 4-oz ramekins
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal
  • ½ cup milk (1% is fine)
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon (heaping) fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tabelspoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 20 fresh blueberries
  • maple syrup for serving (optional)
For the optional sparkling blueberries:
  • ⅓ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably not non-stick), add the cornmeal. Slowly pour in the milk and half-and-half, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Once the mixture is at a hard boil (it boils rapidly while being stirred), continue cooking while stirring for 2 minutes. Be careful: you might need to cover your hand with a towel to prevent splatter burns.
  2. Remove from heat, and then stir in 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest, butter and salt. Stir very well. Divide the mixture between 2 small ramekins. Press the blueberries into the pudding in each ramekin. Press them deeply into the pudding. (When brûlée-ing, the blueberries pop and splatter if not covered by the pudding sufficiently).
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining sugar over each ramekin (1 tablespoon optional maple syrup.
  4. To make the optional sparkling blueberries:
  5. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries and water. Turn the heat to medium and let blueberries cook without stirring for about 2 minutes. Don't let the water boil. The berries should deepen in color and soften slightly. Have the sugar waiting in a shallow bowl. When the berries are soft to the touch, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain lightly. Plunge them into the sugar mixture, stirring gently to coat. When the berries are covered in the sugar, remove them from the sugar and let them sit on a plate until dry. Serve with the Indian Puddings.




  1. says

    Lovely recipe, Christina! I guess I am a weirdo as I like both savory and sweet cornmeal concoctions. The Beatles AND Elvis, too. It depends on my mood, really. Just posted my Homemade Sweet Cornbread Mix (because I detest nasty, unhealthy food additives from those box mixes) and hubby loves my corn puddin’. Just made it for the Fourth of July to go with our ribs and will share the recipe on Wednesday. (Having troubles this morning with ZipList though and web designer is on the case with my recipe refusing to post, LOL. Widgets sometimes just don’t get along.) Thanks for sharing! Already pinned! xo

  2. says

    Ha ha! I’m so with you on the not associated with folks who prefer their grits sweet. It’s just not right. Although I do prefer cornbread with sugar…or pretty much any way you want to serve it. This pudding sounds so unique. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. says

    Well, this Yankee gal has to admit she loves sweet cornbread which I more often than not refer to as Johnny Cake. I’m not familiar with Indian Pudding though. This pudding looks delicious – I’m glad you’ve admitted your betrayal – lol!!!

  4. says

    Oh crap, I don’t know which side to pledge allegiance to..I may have to be a traitor and sit on the fence. I’m completely intrigued by your Indian bread pudding! I had never heard of such a thing and it looks gorgeous and delicious. I have plenty of cornmeal to make these for two fooooorever! Hope you had a fun 4th!!

  5. says

    Uh oh. I’m a fence-sitter. Southern cornbread, but also I do love sweet grits. I bet I’d also loooove this pudding you’ve made for me (because I know it was just for me).

    Hope you and the Mr. had a truly awesome 4th!

  6. says

    I feel sad to say this but… I don’t really have one particular stance on cornmeal. It’s not something we ate a lot of when I was growing up so now, I eat it any way I can find. This one here, this might be my favorite yet. It looks unreal!!! So good.

  7. says

    This is absolutely beautiful! Especially love those pretty berries on top. I’m cringing right now…I’m totally in the sweet cornbread camp. And I only had grits for the first time this summer. I can say that I don’t like them plain. The second time I had them, just a month or so later, the grits were with a lovely tomato mixture and shrimp. It was pure heaven.

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