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Sweet Corn Spoonbread

The recipe suggests you preheat your oven before you begin. For me, this led to an oven running at 400° For an hour — silly. But some ovens take longer than others to preheat; if yours is one of them, turn it on when the recipe suggests. If not, find a time 20 minutes or so before you need to bake it.

Ingredients

Yield: Serves 6, generously

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing dish
  • 2 cups corn kernels (from 3 to 4 ears of corn, or frozen, if defrosted and well drained)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F (see Note above if this seems too early). Very generously grease a 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish or an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk cornmeal and 3/4 cup of milk in a small bowl until combined and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook corn until beginning to brown, which can take as little as 3 minutes with fresh corn but with defrosted frozen corn, took me closer to 10 minutes. Stir in sugar, salt, cayenne and remaining 2 cups milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let mixture steep for 15 minutes.
  3. If you’ve got an immersion blender, please use it to save time. Otherwise, transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Back in the pot (or still, if it had never left) bring it back to a boil, reduce heat to low and add the cornmeal-milk mixture, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. If you want to do fewer dishes and don’t mind if it takes longer to cool, you can leave it in the pot. Otherwise, transfer to a large bowl and return mixture to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  4. Once cool, whisk in egg yolks. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form and fold it in to the corn mixture, one-third at a time. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and baked until spoonbread is golden brown and has risen above rim of dish, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted, just a little, from Cook’s Country by Smitten Kitchen

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