My love affair with corn is a bit ridiculous. I pride myself on how “neatly” I can eat corn on the cob. Seriously, the whole kernel, one row at a time! And much to Derek’s dismay (and slight disgust) I eat an entire can of corn as a snack or light lunch more often than even I’d like to admit.
But fresh summer corn is something else all together. I grew up eating corn boiled in a giant pot and left on the stove for anyone who might walk by and fish out a cob. Derek’s family actually introduced me to grilled corn on the cob: soaked in water and thrown on a hot grill, husks and all. I love the smoky charred bits and also how his family is not shy with the butter.
This recipe for summer corn pudding is a new one to me, but I had to try it, seeing as how it contains three of my most favorite ingredients: fresh corn, cheese, and honey. It is delightfully fluffy, due to the slightly sweet, eggy custard and the fresh corn provides a nice contrast in texture. I could eat this entire pan, but will try my best to share with D.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
4 scallions, chopped, white and light green portions
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 large, fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn and scallions and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Add the honey, flour, milk and cayenne. Whisk to combine well. Add the corn-scallion mixture to the bowl in batches so the eggs don’t scramble, as well as 1/2 cup of grated cheddar. Mix thoroughly. Stack the basil leaves and then roll into a little cigar. Slice thinly (chiffonade) and add to the pudding. Stir. Pour the pudding into a square, greased baking dish (8″ x 8″). Sprinkle top with the 1/4 cup of reserved cheddar. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow pudding to rest 15 minutes before serving.
My pudding came out a little wet. It may have been the “jumbo” eggs, or the fact that I scraped the cobs of all their “milk”, that sweet, creamy layer left on the cob when you cut the kernels off by hand. Also, I initially left out the actual milk called for in the recipe, poured everything back into a giant bowl with the milk, gave it all a whisk and then dumped it all back into the same dish to bake. It still turned out delicious.