August, when the sun pours down its golden rays like so many puddles of butter.  I can’t think of anything to express this better than corn.  Freshly picked.  From a backyard garden, if you’re lucky enough to have one.  Bought from a farm stand or farmers’ market, and raced home so it doesn’t lose any of its sweet goodness.  A pot of water set to boiling before husking, so it’s ready when each stalk is cleanly stripped.  Only three minutes in the pot, then buttered, salted, and enjoyed.  Bitten off the cob, typewriter-style, back and forth on the cob.  Or neatly twirled, tearing the kernels off a section at a time.

When I’m rolling in corn, or when I buy too much just before a cool day, I turn to Corn Pudding.  More like a souffle than a dessert.  It’s the way our culture, hundreds of years ago, used up bread before it went stale, a few shavings of cheese, and an ear or two or corn and made it something delicious and filling.  In modern times, it serves as a great side dish, especially with fresh pork, in any form or a main course for vegetarians.  Use gluten-free bread, and there’s one more group able to relish it.


Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3 tablespoons AP flour

½ teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups milk

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 eggs

1 ½ cups fresh leftover, cooked, or frozen corn kernels

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs

  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet.  Add onions; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on flour and mustard; cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in milk; cook, stirring until sauce comes to a boil.  Whisk in sugar, salt, and cayenne.
  • Lightly beat eggs.  Cool milk slightly so it doesn’t scramble the eggs. Gradually whisk milk mixture into the eggs.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 1 ½- to 2-quart shallow baking dish. 
  • Combine corn and cheese in baking dish, tossing to mix.  Pour sauce over; stir gently to combine.
  • Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet; add breadcrumbs; cook over medium heat, stirring, until crumbs begin to color; sprinkle over casserole.
  • Bake, uncovered, until custard is set and top is golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.  Serve directly from baking dish.