The best corn pudding I ever had was probably the first one I ever tasted. I was ten or eleven years old and we hadn’t lived on the Eastern Shore for very long. We were at a buffet dinner and everyone dished a golden brown spoonful onto their plate. It was sweet and buttery and loaded with corn. I loved it. Growing up, corn pudding was served at holidays, family get togethers and church suppers. Rarely was it a part of a weeknight meal. It’s a shame, really.
A standard four serving bag of frozen corn is the easiest choice for making this casserole, but if you happen to have some extra corn on the cob, cut the kernels off and use them. Set the frozen corn in the fridge in the morning to allow it to thaw (or take the microwave assist). You’ll need about 2 and a half cups if using fresh or canned corn. No matter which type of corn you choose, be sure to drain it before adding to the custard.
The first and best corn pudding I ever had no doubt used sugar as a sweetener. The super sweet varieties of corn weren’t as prevalent in the early 1970’s. Nowadays sweet corn is very sweet and sugar can probably be omitted from the recipe if you prefer. I added sweetened condensed milk. It mixes well with the eggs and it’s easy to find in the stores. In Spain it’s sold in squeeze bottles for coffee but I like to use it to make crema de limon, so we usually have some on hand.
When all mixed together this recipe fills a 8″ x 4″ loaf pan or 1 1/2 quart souffle dish. If you use a regular baking dish it won’t take as long to cook but you might not get the same texture. You’ll have to experiment with the baking times. The top should be golden brown and the custard should be just set. The middle might wiggle a little bit when shaken but it won’t be wet if you test it with a knife.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk, preferably whole
- pinch of grated nutmeg (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste (I used ½ teaspoon of salt and several grinds of pepper)
- 1 thawed pack frozen corn, four servings (about 2½ cups fresh or canned corn)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 8x4" loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the melted butter, condensed milk and flour until well blended.
- Stir in the milk and seasonings.
- Add in the corn and combine.
- Transfer to the loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the custard is set.
When I was growing up, I had one friend who’s Mom used corn pudding as the base for a more substantial meal. It seemed like there was always a passel of kids over there and it was an economical way to stretch the food she had on hand. She would add stewed tomatoes, diced onion and chopped ham or bacon if she had any. Oftentimes she’d add some grated cheese into the mix as well. I wasn’t a fan of stewed tomatoes back then but she didn’t add many and it was a good meal along with a simple salad.