Looking for a special side dish for your Thanksgiving feast? Or maybe just a way to enjoy the tail end of summer's corn harvest? Sweet, creamy, and sunshiny - corn pudding will be that special side dish having everyone sneaking back for more. (Skip to recipe.)
Yup, fall is here. And not only on the calendar.
The trees are turning golden wherever I look, the furnace kicks in every morning, and I've pulled out our winter coats.
Aaaaaand, we had our first snowfall last week. Sigh . . .
I was teaching that day in a grade one class, and the kids were beyond excited to look out the window and see those fat, white flakes swirling thickly down. They kept jumping to the window and shouting, It's snowing! It's snowing! It snowed all day, leaving the world winter-white and slushy. The snow had melted by the next day, but the damage that heavy blanket of white stuff did to all the trees still full of leaves was disheartening. It broke huge branches off our weeping willow tree, split a friend's apple tree in half, and finished off the garden. We had harvested our tomatoes the week before, beans and peas are long picked, but most everything else is still in there.
The corn patch is now a sad sight, with stalks bent over in a higgledy-piggledy fashion from the weight of the snow.
I pulled off about half of the cobs to blanch and freeze.
But first I had to indulge in my yearly tradition. I ate a couple cobs raw, standing out in the garden - sweet milky juice squirting and dribbling down my chin as I bit into the crisp kernels and gnawed them off the cob. Oh, heaven. If you've never eaten a fresh ear of corn, right after it's been picked, you have not yet had the ultimate corn experience. Don't even think to try it with corn that's been sitting in a grocery store bin for days. They are worlds apart. The sugars have already been turning to starches, and you won't have that crispness of juicy kernels popping as you bite into them.
Pippa, our dog, has discovered that same joy. She has become very crafty in fueling her addiction to fresh corn. She's figured out how to jump up and pull herself an ear of corn off the stalk, then holds it with her paws as she pulls back the husks with her teeth. Once the cob is clear, she gnaws all the juicy kernels off and leaves the evidence strewn over the lawn for me to find.
Mister, the cat, looks on with raised eyebrows, thinking, Dumb Dog.
Pippa, our eat-anything-and-everything dog, also digs herself her own carrots, snatches peas off the vine, raspberries off the bushes, and eats apple windfalls whenever she feels like a sweet snack. She's quite the happy vegetarian when there's no meat around. Luckily our garden is large enough to supply both us and the dog 🙂
I'm sure Pippa would gobble up this delicious corn pudding, too, but I'm keeping it from her clutches.
Golden corn, soft and fluffy like a soufflé but creamy like a pudding, dotted with chewy kernels, natural sweetness enhanced with a kiss of maple syrup, crispy caramelized outer bits . . . oh, my. What a fantastic side dish for a festive turkey dinner!
Or just have it for a simple supper like we did, served with a few strips of smoky bacon and a crisp green salad.
Get your hands on some fresh ears of corn, or even use frozen. Cut the kernels from the cobs, making sure to scrape off all the best milky bits next to the cob.
Whiz it up in the food processor,
and bake to crispy-edged golden perfection.
It's the next best thing to eating a garden fresh cob of corn you've pulled right off the stalk.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: If using frozen corn, you will need more than 4 cups, since it shrinks when thawed. Defrost it first, drain off the water, then measure it. To quickly defrost corn, you can put it in a colander and run cold water over it.
If your corn is super sweet and fresh, you can omit the maple syrup if you like. Or use a couple tablespoons of light brown sugar instead.
Corn cob sizes vary. One medium cob yields about ⅔ to ¾ cup of kernels.
Sweet Corn Pudding
- 4 cups corn kernels, cut from 5 to 6 cobs of fresh corn (or 4 cups defrosted frozen corn kernels)
- 1 cup (240ml) light cream (or ½ cup heavy cream + ½ cup milk)
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup (60gms) soft butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8x8-inch (20x20cm) or 2-quart glass baking dish with butter.
Cut the kernels from the corn cobs, and use the back, dull side of the knife to scrape off the hearts and all the sweet, milky bits remaining on the cobs to add to the kernels.
Set aside one cup of kernels, and add the remaining 3 cups of kernels to the bowl of a food processor. Add the cream, eggs, butter, cornstarch, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Whiz until you have a coarse mash.
Remove the food processor blade and stir in the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels.
Pour the corn pudding into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is set.
Serves 6 to 8.
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