Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sweet Corn Pudding & The Human Condition

Tedium. Lassitude. Ennui.

Familiarity breeds contempt.

True with people, true with food.

I try and cook with ingredients that are fresh. I buy fresh produce from my grocer, the local farmer's market or simply use the fresh kill from my meager garden. It's exciting at the beginning when things first start to ripen. It's becomes challenging and boring toward the end of the harvest.

I'm bored with corn.

It's been a tough year for sweet corn. It just never seemed to show up in volume. I don't know, maybe it's all been plowed under for the ethanol variety, but all summer it's been gummy, over-sized kernels everywhere you looked.

Yeah, yeah, I can hear you out there...

"Oh, Crabby, give me a break. By November you'll be whining for fresh corn like an 8-year old without Hannah Montana tickets."

I know, I know; by November it'll be "absence makes the heart grow fonder". But right now it's more like "how can I miss you if you won't go away"!

Well here's a recipe that SSSal has adjusted/concocted over the years that brings back some interest, especially to late season corn. Sweet Corn Pudding is a baked, slightly gelatinous side dish that works well with fresh or frozen corn. And since this is a corner-crust house, this year she's adapted the recipe to use the Baker's Edge baking pan. A very good recipe made great by this invention. Enjoy.

Sweet Corn Pudding
by SSSal, inspired, adapted and adjusted from Bon Appetit, December 1999

4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
4 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk (use 2% if you're trying to lower the fat content)
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP fresh, chopped basil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch the husked ears of corn for two minutes. Allow to cool, then cut the kernels from the cob (warning/hint: Cutting corn kernels from a cob is a messy and time-consuming job, hold the ear vertically over a baking sheet and allow the kernels to fall/fly where they may).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly butter your Baker's Edge Baking Pan ( or if you don't have one yet, an 8"x8"x2" glass baking dish). In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the basil. Pulse until the mixture forms into a coarse batter. Stir in the chopped basil.

Pour the batter into your Baker's Edge pan and bake until golden brown and the center of the pudding just begins to set, approximately 45 minutes. Cool for 10 - 15 minute. Serve.

There you have it. A new corn application; not firm enough to be bread, not soft enough to be soup. Perfect with any grilled meat or that toothless senior in the household. It also reheats easily in a 350 degree oven. Give it a try and until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook!

What? More tomatoes!? Isn't that stand ever going to collapse?


eatingclubvancouver_js said...

That's a cool pan.

I've been disappointed with corn as of late too, for the past couple of years. I remember the last good ear of corn I had was about two years ago. You're right: corn doesn't seem to be as abundant as before. Ethanol you say, eh? Misguided plan if there is ever one. said...

Corn does seem to be getting blander, either that or I'm just getting older.

Oh, TS & JS, I've added your blog to my links list if that OK with you.

RecipeGirl said...

I definitely need that Edge Pan! I've yet to see it around so I guess I'll have to order it.

We're lucky to have a terrific local Farmer's Market nearby that is open everyday. They're famous for their fabulous corn!

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Anonymous said...

Interesting timing ... Just tonight I made babyback ribs with Bon Appetit's recent Cherry-Cola Barbecue Sauce, along with some cole slaw, homemade pickles, and fresh corn on the cob. Everything tasted awesome ... except for the corn. The kernels were meager and mushy, and the taste was, well, absent. So disappointing.

Jeannebean said...

The current season is when it's great to live in the boondocks! We're getting the best corn ever, cherries & raspberries are waning, but peaches are coming in & apples are not far behind. Not many tomatoes yet, but hopefully, soon come.
Can't beat the whitefish either!

Anonymous said...

Had my first yummy corn of the year finally, but I had to drive 3 hours to get some. Visited my inlaws today up in Northern New Hampshire and my fingers got sticky while shucking the local Butter and Sugar corn. It was delicious.

I love the sweetness in cornbread when complimented by a thick hunk of butter and a glass of German Spatlese Riesling. Expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $20 a bottle, but make sure you see the word "SPATLESE" on the label.


test it comm said...

That looks good. I have been wanting to try a corn pudding for a while.

Maggie said...

The first two batches of corn we got were terrible. They looked nice but were really starchy. Then I picked up some Monday and it was awesome! We ate half of it raw it was so sweet and juicy.

moonbemz said...

I saw a great hint on how to cut corn off the cob last week - put the small end of the cob into the middle depression of a bundt pan. Gives you some stability and you have 360 coverage for the kernels. Enjoy!