Recipes for North Eastern Puddings & Desserts

From New England, where winters are bone-chilling cold, come thick and tasty puddings and desserts that stick to the ribs and warm the heart. They are made from staples stored in the fall and used through spring–flour, whole grains, spices and preserves from last summer’s fruits and berries. To these are added fresh eggs and cool, heavy cream.

In the “good old days,” some of the puddings used to simmer for entire afternoons, but now, thanks to today’s quick cooking ingredients, most of the following recipes can be created from scratch in under an hour. Read the recipes before you shop for ingredients…you may already have most of them on hand!

Recommended reading: Best Indian Cookbooks

Applesauce Custard Pie

  • 2 cups applesauce (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 cup light cream or half and half
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp saltĀ (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (or homemade crust)
  • Chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to mix applesauce, cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake 15 minutes in 450 degree oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35-40 minutes longer, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If desired, garnish with border of chopped nuts.

New Hampshire Plate Cake

  • 1 (16 oz) can sliced peaches (or homemade equivalent)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In saucepan heat peaches with their liquid just to boiling point. Remove from heat and add almond extract. Pour peaches into 8x8x2 inch baking dish. Place biscuits on top of peaches. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Brush butter over biscuits and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with heavy cream.

Vermont Rice Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups instant rice
  • 1/2 cup raisins or cut-up cooked prunes
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk and sugar. Heat mixture, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to boiling and remove immediately from the heat. Stir in rice, raisins (or prunes) and vanilla. Cover and let stand until cool. Fluff up rice mixture with a fork. Fold in whipped cream; chill.

Blueberry Grunt

  • 2 (21 oz) cans blueberry pie filling (or homemade equivalent)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Dumplings:
  • 1 cup buttermilk biscuit mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest

Combine blueberry pie filling, water and lemon juice. Pour into shallow heat-proof container with a right-fitting lid. Heat mixture to boiling; reduce heat to simmer. Prepare dumplings as directed on package using baking mix and milk. Drop dough by 4 to 6 spoonfuls onto simmering blueberry mixture. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve hot with lemon zest sprinkled over top of dumplings.

New England Trifle

  • 1 (16 oz) pkg frozen pound cake, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup sweet sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry jam
  • Custard sauce:
  • 1 small pkg vanilla pudding and pie filling
  • 3 cups milk

Cut defrosted cake in half lengthwise. Brush 1/4 cup of the sherry on cut surface of bottom layer of the cake. Brush remaining sherry over the top surface of the top of the layer cake. Spread 3/4 cup of the jam on the bottom layer of cake. Place top layer of cake onto bottom layer. Spread remaining jam over top of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Prepare custard sauce by cooking vanilla pudding and pie filling as directed on the package using 3 cups of milk. Remove sauce from heat and let stand until warm, stirring occasionally. Remove cake from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Cut cake into 1 inch slices and serve with warm custard sauce.

Quick Indian Pudding

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Unsweetened whipped cream

Scald 3 cups of milk in top part of a double boiler over simmering water. Water level in lower part should be below bottom of the top pan. In a small bowl combine cornmeal, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Gradually stir in remaining 1 cup milk. Add cornmeal-milk mixture to milk in top of double boiler. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, combine molasses and eggs. Gradually stir in hot cornmeal-milk mixture. Return mixture to top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into serving dish. Serve warm with unsweetened whipped cream or heavy pouring cream.

Apple-Raisin Crisp

  • 1 (21 oz) can apple pie filling (or equivalent of homemade)
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg lady fingers
  • 3/4 cup apricot preserves, sieved

Combine pie filling, raisins and 1/4 cup dark rum together. Spoon into a well greased 8x8x2 inch baking pan. Split lady fingers in half (you will need 18 whole ones.) Sandwich ladyfingers together using some of sieved apricot preserve. Arrange evenly over surface of apple-raisin mixture. Blend remaining apricot preserve with remaining rum. Brush evenly over top surface of lady fingers. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until apple mixture bubbles and top is brown and crisp.

There you have it. Quick to make and quicker to eat…now, go shovel some snow!

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