As you might expect, putting together our family's Thanksgiving table is quite a circus. Over the years we have all become partial to our favorite dishes and expect them to be prepared for us year after year. My husband will not sit down to eat if there isn't a fresh pan of his mother's homemade corn bread on the table, and I won't even think of celebrating without my mother's corn pudding. Fluffy, rich and creamy, it is the most perfect savory pudding I have ever tasted.
I'll readily admit, I've been eating this all my life but didn't learn how to make it until I got married. At that point, my husband and I elected to start alternating family holidays, spending our first Thanksgiving with his parents, and, the following year, with mine. The arrangement made perfect sense in every way, except when it came to planning the menus. If we both wanted to enjoy our favorite dishes, it meant bringing printed recipes with us to our respective new family's. Thus, at our first Thanksgiving with my in-law's, I had to make my mom's corn pudding and add it to their already crowded table.
It took me a couple of tries to get the pudding right, but now I can practically make it in my sleep. In fact, these days I make it during my daughter's naptime on an almost weekly basis. After all, why limit a favorite dish to the Thanksgiving table when it can be enjoyed all year long?! Pulling it together is a simple affair, merely requiring careful stirring over low heat and the careful addition of ingredients. Then the whole dish is put in the oven to rise into a fluffy pillow of egg pudding chock full of creamy corn, topped with a thin and crisp parmesan crust.
When I first served this to my in-law's a few years ago I wasn't worried in the least. They are a family of foodie's, so I knew they would appreciate this classic Thanksgiving dish. They loved it's rich texture and flavor, agreeing that it was a great addition to their menu. Last year, when my daughter had finally graduated to solid foods, she enjoyed it too. In many ways it is perfect toddler food. The light, almost spongy texture is easy to chew and has a palatable flavor that is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. The recipe also allows for a bit of flexibility, sometimes I add diced jalapeno peppers to give it an extra kick.
I don't know about you, but I am thrilled Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For us, being married means we've been able to combine the best of both family's menus to create feasts that are hard to beat. This year we will be with my in-law's on Martha's Vineyard so I'll be making the corn pudding. It will be situated on the table right next to my mother-in-law's perfect roast turkey, to the right of my husband's favorite corn bread and south of my father in-law's oyster stuffing. And everyone will be happy.
Mom's Corn Pudding with Parmesan Crust
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. Kosher salt
3/4 c. whole milk, hot
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 12oz. can creamed corn
3/4 c. regular canned corn (not creamed)
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 1-quart casserole dish, set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, sugar and salt, stir to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in hot milk and stir until thickened.
3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in nutmeg, eggs, creamed corn and regular corn until just incorporated. Add jalapeno if using.
4. Pour into butter 1 qt. dish and spread parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until set and golden brown around the edges. It will be poofed in the top when it comes out of the oven, but sink a little in the middle pretty quickly. Don't worry, that is how it is supposed to look!
Naptime Recipe Props: This is a classic corn pudding recipe that is sure to please everyone. If you want to give the flavor a kick add the jalapeno, but, don't worry, the pudding is just fine without it, too. Play with it and have fun!
Naptime Stopwatch: Making the sauce takes about 15 minutes, then all that is left is the baking time.
Naptime Reviews: Everyone loves this pudding because it is so rich, without being overly heavy. My daughter loves this too, it is great for young kids as well as adults.