Unlike Champagne, cider doesn’t have to battle existing notions of when it’s appropriate to drink, because you can find one that suits every occasion. Spring and summer cookouts and picnics are casual affairs, so grab a six-pack of canned cider and head to your favorite park or a friend’s backyard for a potluck.
If you’re in charge of the sweet course, this is a surefire win. Classic New England drink meets classic New England dessert — and it turns out they’re both great with ice cream. The Original Blend from Downeast Cider House is unfiltered and a bit yeasty, with easy-drinking apple sweetness that’s lovely with the subtle warm spices in this dessert.
Recipe courtesy of Back Deck, Boston, MA
1 quart milk
¾ cup coarse-ground cornmeal (polenta)
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 pint ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 225° F (107° C). Heat the milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. When barely simmering, whisk in the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking until it has thickened, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend in the sugar, brown sugar, molasses, salt, melted butter, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Gently whisk in 1 cup of the heavy cream and pour mixture into a 9×13-inch pan. Bake uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and drizzle on remaining cream.
To serve, scoop pudding into small bowls and top with ice cream.
This article originally ran in Cidercraft Vol. 8. For the full story and more like it, click here.