It's funny. I have never been a real fan of corn pudding, as I find it bland and mushy. It's also funny that Ina Garten starts her commentary on this Sagaponack Corn Pudding recipe with the same sentiment. After making her recipe, however, I'm a new convert. This was NOT a bland and mushy corn pudding! Granted, I am making this at the height of the fresh corn season here in New England and not in the dead of winter with frozen corn. I also used the sharpest zingiest cheese I could find and I sprinkled the top of the pudding with really hot cayenne pepper to really add heat.
Incidentally? It's still mushy, but I'm past that.
Here's the back story ...
I wanted to make a bastardized saltimbocca last evening with some turkey cutlets, fresh sage leaves and prosciutto, but I didn't want polenta with it ... so I looked through Ina's cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Family Style and found this corn pudding. The addition of sharp Cheddar and copious basil slivers made me interested. Fran Bullock's farmstand has had incredibly sweet corn for the past few weeks, so I sent SB on a mission to get a few ears.
While I prepared the egg and dairy base for the pudding, The Lodger cut the corn off the ears. He's a whiz with a knife ...
We got the corn started cooking with some butter and onion, added it to the pudding base, stirred in fresh basil slivers and super sharp cheese, and turned it into a pretty casserole.
The pudding is baked uncovered in a bain marie for about an hour ... and when it comes out of the oven it is golden and quivery and really light on the spoon! The eggy cheesiness is a nice backdrop for the sweet pop of the kernels when you bite into a spoonful! The cayenne pepper that I sprinkled on the top cheese crust added a really nice touch, too!
While the pudding baked, I put together that Turkey Saltimbocca rip-off dish ... it was delicious, if made by the seat of my pants!
With a light creamy white wine and lemon sauce drizzled over and around it, it was killer! A light and easy plate of salad greens rounded things out nicely.
It was a pretty meal - delicious too! Don't you just love when things work out well ?!? Back to that Corn Pudding recipe, though! We've decided that it would be a worthy side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. I halved Ina's recipe and it made enough for three hungry folks plus a small bowl for my breakfast and photoshoot (better light in the morning!), so you can plan accordingly. Ina's recipe makes enough for 8 servings.
Sagaponack Corn Pudding
an Ina Garten recipe
5 c. fresh corn, cut from the cob (6 to 8 ears)
1 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
4 extra large eggs
1 c. milk ( use 2 %)
1 c. half & half
½ c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. ricotta cheese ( use part-skim)
3 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, cut into slivers
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. Kosher salt (scant)
¾ tsp. black pepper
6 oz. extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated plus a bit more for topping the pudding
Making the Pudding:
- Grease a casserole dish that will hold 8 to 10 cups. Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
- Place the butter in a deep fry pan. Add the chopped onion and the corn kernals. Place over medium high heat and bring the vegetables to a sizzling bubble. Cook for four minutes, turn off the heat and let them cool just a bit.
- Meanwhile mix the eggs, milk, half & half, sugar, slat, pepper, basil, and cornmeal to make a slurry. Add the ricotta and stir vigorously to break it up.
- Turn in the corn and onion mix.
- Plop the pudding batter into the casserole dish. Sprinkle a bit more Cheddar on top and sprinkle on some cayenne pepper. Place the casserole in a larger deep pan, add hot tap water to the water bath so that the water comes halfway up the outside of the casserole.
- Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
- The pudding is done when it begins to come away from the edges of the pan, quivers when jostled, and is golden brown on the top.
- Remove from the water bath and allow the pudding to cool for just a few minutes before serving.