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honey sesame corn pudding

This is unapologetically sweet, just a few savory notes shy of pudding, and if you don’t have a sweet tooth like mine you may want to lessen the amount of honey used.  As written, it turns out craggy on top and crisp at the edges but silky, sweet, and pudding-like in the center, dense and custardy and studded with sunny corn kernels.  Cream will make this almost too decadent to be fair, but milk will work just fine, too.

Scale

Ingredients

For the creamed corn (see Notes):

2 cups sweet corn kernels, frozen or fresh

1 ½ cups water

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

For the pudding:

1 cup sweet corn kernels, frozen or fresh 

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon dried onion (optional)

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup whole milk (or heavy cream, see Notes)

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Instructions

  1. To make the creamed corn:  In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups corn kernels, 1 ½ cups water, ¼ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the corn is soft and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain (that’s important!) and use an immersion blender or food processor to purée just briefly, until partly smooth, 10 to 20 seconds.  Be sure to drain before puréeing, as leaving the water in will result in both too much liquid and too much sugar.  (Alternatively, skip this step and just use one 14.25-ounce can of cream-style corn, drained–see Notes.)
  2. To make the corn pudding:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously brush a 10-inch cast iron skillet or 11×8-inch baking cocotte with butter.  In a large bowl, combine the corn purée (or canned creamed corn, if using), 1 cup sweet corn kernels, eggs, honey, salt, pepper, dried onion (if using), dried garlic powder (if using), and toasted sesame seeds, and whisk until combined.  
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.  Whisk in the rest of the milk, then add the milk mixture to the corn puree mixture and stir to combine.  Finally, stir in the melted butter and sesame oil.
  4. Pour into the greased cast iron skillet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the pudding is nicely browned around the edges and just slightly puffed, but mostly set.  Cool for a few minutes before serving. When the pudding is done, garnish with additional sesame seeds if desired and enjoy warm.

Notes

Many recipes call for one 14-ounce can of cream-style corn, which you should feel free to use (drained) instead of making your own in step 1.  You can also use heavy cream in place of the milk if you’d like a really decadent corn pudding, but you won’t miss it if you opt for milk (or even 2% milk).