Friday, April 04, 2014

Pesto Corn Pudding

Cafe Drake HRV thrives on putting new spins on classic, historic recipes such as this, corn pudding as prepared and served at Harrodsburg, Kentucky's Beaumont Inn. Corn pudding, often confused with spoon bread made from cornmeal, provides a novel texture and sweet/savory flavor making it absolute perfection as a side dish. Delicate sometimes to the point of banal, if done right corn pudding can stand on its own as a light vegetarian or luncheon entree. We followed precisely the unorthodox cooking method employed at the Beaumont Inn but tweaked as below. Our addition of pesto had us dreaming of summer produce and already planning an August menu of our pesto corn pudding, homegrown sliced tomatoes and fresh black-eye peas!

Let's begin by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. while buttering a medium-size casserole dish. 

as above: In the casserole stir together 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (we used white whole wheat flour), 1 t. salt and 3 t. sugar. The original recipe called for more sugar but we found it too sweet. Now mix in 2 cups cooked corn kernels (fresh, frozen), 3 T. pesto and 3 T. melted butter. Finally, beat together in a bowl 4 cups milk and 4 eggs. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the casserole and stir to combine.

High quality jarred pesto is a cinch to find these days at gourmet and natural foods markets, or do as Cafe Drake HRV did and make use of homemade pesto, previously frozen and stored in zip-lock bags.

When first placing in the oven the mixture will be very runny. Don't be alarmed; it sets quickly at 425 degrees F. To Cook Assembled Corn Pudding:
  • Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir with long prong fork, disturbing the top as little as possible.
  • Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat stirring procedure.
  • Return to oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat stirring procedure.
  • Return to oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Top should be lightly brown and pudding should be firm.

The end results of that stirring are well worth it!
In the upper left corner of the photo above, re-heated corn pudding joins a lunch of leftovers. The corn pudding kept well in the Cafe Drake HRV fridge for 5 days.

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