Long before we moved to Nebraska (from California), I was familiar with the Cornhusker state as one that prided itself on its corn production. I soon learned that the people there, yes, do love their corn, but also that no, they don’t really produce corn for eating. That comes from California. Oh, the irony.
Nonetheless, I have fallen in love with the beauty of those corn fields which are always at least “knee high by the fourth of July” and still beautiful in fall just before the harvest.
Of course, you don’t have to be from the Midwest to love your corn. We love it in corn bread, salads, fritters, tacos and this very excellent and wondrous corn pudding, which is just a snap to make. Everything just gets dumped into the blender or food processor and then baked until goldenly delicious. The top gets a little crispy and the inside is lusciously creamy, slightly sweet with a wonderful corn presence.
I’ve always used fresh corn for this, but frozen would work as well. At the peak of the corn season I like to buy up lots of fresh corn, remove it from the cob and freeze it to use all year. But Trader Joe’s had fresh corn (in December !?) so I used that here.
Every year at Thanksgiving I make this to accompany our turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, etc., and every year I wonder why the heck I don’t make it more often. This year I’ve promised myself to do just that.
Sweet Corn Pudding
Adapted from Bon Apetit
4 cups corn kernels (about 19 ounces, frozen or 5 ears of fresh)
4 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Thaw your corn if using frozen. Bring the butter to room temperature.
Butter 8x8x2-inch or 2-quart baking dish. Set aside about 1/3 of the corn.
Blend the rest of the ingredients in processor until almost smooth. Stir in reserved corn and pour batter into prepared dish. Bake pudding until brown and center is just set, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; serve.
Do ahead: Make this in the morning and warm in a low oven. Better after it sits awhile.
Makes 8 side-dish servings.