Daily Archives: July 21, 2007

My questions

Corn Pudding with Pesto

This corn pudding is awesome – especially cold (my husband disagrees), and especially mid-morning, when a cup of tea isn’t quite enough to quiet my stomach.

But with some recipes, I’m always wondering.

Would it have been better if I’d whipped the eggs with room-temperature butter first, then added the liquids, then the flour, then the chopped and whole corn, like making a loose cookie dough? I know it’ll work in a wide, flat dish, but what about the pesto? In that case, spreading it thin over an already-thin layer of batter might be painstaking, so would dropping the pesto on top by the spoonful work, or would they turn into oily brown pools in the baking process? And did the water in the frozen corn affect the baking process? Would it be better with fresh corn?

Oh, it’s always a process, isn’t it.

Recipe for Corn Pudding with Pesto
Recipe 202 of 365

I first had corn pudding at MC Perkins Cove, the more casual oceanside sister of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine. I’m pretty sure the key ingredient there is cream, and I’m really okay with that. Here’s a deep-dish version, made with a combination of cream and whole milk, and a layer of pesto whose olive oil seeps into the lower half of the batter, creating a custard that has a different texture than the top layer. It makes for a great three-layered effect.

TIME: 20 minutes active time, plus 1 1/2 hours to bake
MAKES: 6 servings

Spray vegetable or olive oil
1 pound frozen corn (use directly from frozen)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup basil pesto

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the inside of a soufflé dish or large, flat baking dish with the oil and set aside.

Whirl half of the corn in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. (Noisy!) Add the eggs, cream, milk, salt, and a good grinding of pepper, and pulse until well combined. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl, sprinkle the flour on top, and fold it in until no dry spots remain. Stir in the butter and the rest of the corn.

Spread half the batter in the bottom of the dish. Dot the batter with the pesto, and use a small spatula to spread the pesto evenly over the batter. Top with the remaining batter, smooth down, and bake for 90 minutes (if using a soufflé dish – a regular baking dish will probably only take about an hour), or until the corn is browning at the edges and the center is just set. Cool ten minutes before serving.

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