I have a soft spot for corn pudding because it was one of the dishes served at my wedding. Mind you, I didn’t actually eat any of the corn pudding served at my wedding. But I know it was there.
I had a beautiful outdoor wedding at Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, VA, right down the road from Mount Vernon. The ceremony was out in the open, with a charming rustic chuppah — the traditional Jewish wedding canopy. And the reception was under an enormous white tent decorated with spring flowers — it was Memorial Day weekend — and twinkling lights. The band was rocking. The food, from my parents’ favorite DC caterer, Susan Gage, was amazing — or so I am told. Afraid of spilling, or having to pee, in my elaborate wedding dress, I was too nervous to eat a bite. But my husband, who also had the wherewithal to ask the waiters for the scores of the NBA playoff games that were happening that evening before the age of smart phones, went back for seconds on everything, especially the corn pudding.
But I digress. The subject at hand is corn pudding, which is a great dish for this transitional moment as summer fades into fall. My farmers’ market still has corn on the cob for sale at the bargain basement price of $.50 per ear, but with the weather getting chilly and a summer of eating corn on the cob and corn and tomato relish behind us, I am looking for new ways to use this summer staple. That is where a warm and comforting savory pudding bursting with juicy kernels of fresh corn hits the spot. The buttermilk gives the otherwise sweet pudding a bit of a tang and when combined the pinch of baking soda it makes this pudding puff up gorgeously. But if you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk and omit the baking soda.
I served this corn pudding as a side dish to a chicken and tomatillo stew and it was a welcome change from rice or other bland sides. I think it will complement any of your favorite southern or southwestern entrees. Feel free to gild the lily, if you are so inclined, with grated cheese and some sliced jalapeño or poblano peppers would add a welcome dose of heat if you are not serving this pudding to picky children. The leftovers make a yummy
Buttermilk Corn Pudding
4 ears fresh corn
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup flour
1 TB sugar
3 TB butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an oval or square baking dish that holds 1.5 to 2 quarts. Strip the kernels off the four ears of corn and set aside. Beat the eggs together in a large mixing bowl. Add the corn kernels, and the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add the buttermilk and the melted butter and stir gently to combine. Season well with salt and pepper and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake 60-70 minutes until the center is firm and the pudding puffed and golden.
What dish do you remember from your wedding? Did you get to eat any of it?