The kids and I are heading to New Jersey in the morning to visit my family, and spend some time on the beach. I love my summer trips home. We spend a lot time playing in the sand, eating delicious food, and making memories with family that we do not get to spend near enough time with. Traveling alone with three kids is never fun or easy, but always, worth the effort. After the week that I have had, I am ready for a little rest and relaxation.
This recipe is for sure the recipe that people ask me about the most. If you know me, or my mother, there is a chance that you have had Val’s corn pudding. It is so good that we even served it at my wedding. If you were to ask her, she would laugh, saying that it is nothing. But if you have ever had it, you would disagree. It is not nothing, her corn pudding is the stuff of dreams. I asked her where this recipe came from, and she said that she made it up. She usually makes it as an afterthought, when she needs to add just one more dish. It is always the first to go on the table , and the talk of the evening. I have a friend (who shall remain nameless), that is not above licking the plate when she is done eating her serving (or 4) of corn pudding. What more do you need to hear? Try my mom’s corn pudding. It is awesome.
I have made this pudding many, many, times, but hers is always better than mine. When I went to home last summer, I had her make it for me so that I could watch and take pictures. I have made it a few times since, and every time, it gets a little bit closer. Now, if you are one of those people that needs an exact recipe, skip this one. It is a method. You can alter the quantity to feed 4 or 40, but the way that you make it stays the same. When I make corn, I usually will cook a few extra ears so that I can make corn pudding with it. You need to start with cooked corn and cover the corn with cream. The rest is up to you. Usually, I use heavy cream to make this, but I only had half-and-half. It still delicious, but really, if you are going to do it, go big or go home.
3 Tablespoons butter
3 cups of cooked corn kernels, off of the cob
2 cups half-and-half (preferably heavy cream)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for the top)
pinch of cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the corn. Season well with salt and pepper. (If your corn is not very sweet, add a few teaspoons of sugar as well).
Pour enough cream to cover the corn.
Bring the cream to a bubble over medium low heat. Reduce for about 20 to 30 minutes.
You will know that you are getting close when the sides look like this. The cream will have reduced down, and you will start to see little bubbles on the edges. If the cream coats the back of the spoon, you are good to go.
When the cream has reduced, add the Parmesan cheese. It will start to melt and the pudding will really thicken and come together.
Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Pour the corn mixture into a casserole dish and top with Parmesan cheese.
I got all Paula Deen-like and decided that it needed an old-school “pap-ah-rika” top.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. The pudding will be bubbly and hot all the way through.