Fresh corn kernels punctuate a cornmeal-based batter in this rich, straightforward recipe.
Although I prefer a simple corn pudding, the batter takes well to any of the variations that follow. For a richer pudding: Before whisking the egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture, add 1/4 cup heavy cream to the yolks. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
Servings: 12 - 16
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Kernels cut from 5 small or 4 medium ears of corn
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream, plus additional if desired
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
- 3 large eggs, separated, plus 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 2-quart (8-cup) baking dish with sides at least 2 inches deep.
In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the corn kernels and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl; set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, cream and sugar, stirring frequently, just until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Reduce the heat to low. Whisking constantly, slowly add the cornmeal in a steady stream. Remove the pan from the heat. The cornmeal mixture should be thick. Add the salt, several grinds of pepper and, if desired, the pepper sauce and whisk to combine. Scrape the cornmeal mixture into the reserved corn kernels and mix well. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly whisk the 6 egg yolks. (If a richer pudding is desired, whisk 1/4 cup of heavy cream into the yolks.) Quickly whisk them into the cornmeal mixture, whisking just until combined. Set aside.
In a clean bowl, using a whisk or an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the 3 egg whites until firm, but not stiff, peaks form.
Sprinkle the baking powder over the cornmeal mixture and whisk until incorporated. Gently whisk one-quarter of the beaten egg whites into the cornmeal mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and bake the pudding for about 30 minutes, until set and barely golden. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm, either cut into individual portions or spooned from the dish.
Any of the following may be added to the cornmeal mixture at the same time you mix in the sauteed corn kernels.
Green bell pepper and pimento: About 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper and 2 tablespoons drained, chopped jarred pimentos.
Bacon: 3 slices thick-sliced bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled.
Parsley and chive: 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives.
Parmesan: About 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
Monterey Jack: About 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
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